Have you ever wished you had a helper to code alongside you? Well, that dream can come true with GitHub CoPilot in VS Code.
An AI-powered coding helper called GitHub CoPilot can make the process of writing code faster and more effective.
Based on the context of your code and comments, it utilizes machine learning to analyze your code and make recommendations for code fragments, methods, and even entire classes.
We’ll walk you through the process of installing GitHub CoPilot in Visual Studio Code in this blog article.
We’ll go through everything you need to know to make the most of this useful tool, from installing the extension to adjusting its settings and utilizing it successfully.
How to Install GitHub Copilot in VS Code?
- Open Visual Studio Code and sign in with your GitHub account. If you’re not already signed in, click on the Accounts tab at the bottom left of the window and choose Turn on Settings Sync.
- Then select Sign in with GitHub and enter your credentials to sign in.
- On the VS Code window’s left side, select the Extensions tab.
- Press Enter after entering “GitHub Copilot” into the search field.
- Next to the GitHub Copilot extension, click the Install button.
- Wait for the installation to complete.
- You will encounter a pop-up that prompts you to register for GitHub Copilot. To complete the registration process for GitHub Copilot, simply click on the sign-up button.
- The signup page will appear in your default browser, where you can select either the Monthly or Yearly payment plan for GitHub Copilot. Choose the one that suits you and click the Get access to GitHub Copilot button.
- Enter your billing information and click the Save button.
- Choose your payment method and save your payment information.
- Confirm that your billing and payment information is correct and click the submit button.
- Choose whether or not you want GitHub Copilot to offer code that matches publicly available code on GitHub. After that, choose Save and start.
- Restart Visual Studio Code to activate the GitHub Copilot extension.
Congratulations! You’re now ready to start using GitHub Copilot in Visual Studio Code.
Generating Code using GitHub Copilot
GitHub Copilot is a revolutionary tool that enables you to generate code using various methods, such as code completion and code synthesis.
With code completion, you simply start typing and GitHub Copilot will suggest completions as you write.
When using code completion, a grayed-out line of code will appear, which is a GitHub Copilot extension suggestion.
To accept the suggestion, press the tab key. Alternatively, you can ignore a suggestion and continue writing your code, or press the Esc key.
Here’s a GitHub Copilot code completion in action on VS Code:
import pandas as pd
import numpy as np
Code synthesis, on the other hand, generates entire code snippets based on the code you are writing.
To generate an entire code snippet, you should write a comment that describes what the snippet will do and then press Enter.
GitHub Copilot will generate the first line of code, which you can accept by pressing the Tab key.
To generate the next line of the snippet, simply press the Enter key and repeat the process until the entire snippet is finished.
Here’s a of GitHub Copilot generating a function on VS Code:
import pandas as pd
import numpy as np
# A Function that chooses random columns from the dataframe and applies a function to them
def random_columns(df, func, n=1);
columns = np.random.choice(df.columns, n)
Explain Prewritten Code Using GitHub Copilot
GitHub Copilot not only generates new code, but can also suggest pre-written code that you can use in your projects.
This can be especially helpful when you are working with complex functions or code structures that you may not be familiar with.
To use GitHub Copilot to suggest pre-written code, you can start by typing a function or method name, followed by a dot.
GitHub Copilot will then suggest a list of methods or properties that can be used with that function.
For example, suppose you are working on a Python project that involves working with lists. You can start by typing “list.” and GitHub Copilot will suggest a list of prewritten Python code that can be used with lists.
In the following example, GitHub Copilot suggests the “count” method that can be used to count the number of occurrences of a particular item in a list.
mylist = [2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 2, 2, 6, 4, 8]
number_of_ones = mylist.count(1)
In the above example, GitHub Copilot suggested the count() method that can be used to count the number of times the integer value 1 appears in the list my_list.
Another example is when you are working on a project that involves interacting with a database. You can use GitHub Copilot to suggest prewritten code for database queries.
For instance, you can start typing “database.” and GitHub Copilot will suggest a list of prewritten code that can be used for interacting with a database.
conn = sqlite3.connect('example.db')
c = conn.cursor()
c.execute("SELECT * FROM users WHERE name='Dev Ray'")
In the above example, GitHub Copilot suggested prewritten code to connect to a SQLite database and execute a SELECT query to retrieve data from a “users” table where the name is “Dev Ray”.
Using prewritten code snippets can save you time and effort and help you avoid errors when working with complex functions or data structures.
How to Document Prewritten Code with GitHub Copilot
GitHub Copilot can also be used to document prewritten code. This can be useful when you are working with code written by someone else or if you are revisiting code you wrote some time ago.
By adding comments to the code, you can better understand what it does and how it works. To document prewritten code using GitHub Copilot, you can use the code synthesis feature.
Simply write a comment describing what the code does, and Copilot will generate the code snippet for you.
For example, if you come across a function called calculateTotal but you’re not sure what it does, you can add a comment to document it. You might write something like:
// This function calculates the total cost of the items in the cart
Then, with the comment selected, press Enter and GitHub Copilot will generate the code for the calculateTotal function based on the context of your comment.
Here’s an example of using GitHub Copilot to document prewritten code:
// // The sum of an array of integers is computed by this function
let sum = 0;
for (let x = 0; x < array.length; x++)
sum += array[x];
In this example, you can see that the function sumArray has a comment above it describing what it does.
This can make it easier for other developers (and yourself) to understand the purpose of the code and how it works.
How Does GitHub Copilot Offer Code Suggestions?
GitHub Copilot suggests code using a machine learning algorithm that was trained on a vast amount of open-source code.
The algorithm is based on OpenAI’s GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) model, which uses a deep neural network to understand the context of the code and generate appropriate suggestions.
When you start typing code in your editor, GitHub Copilot analyzes the context of what you are typing and generates suggestions based on that context. It can suggest entire lines of code, functions, and even entire code snippets.
The suggestions are presented to you as grayed-out lines of code that you can accept or ignore. GitHub Copilot can also learn from your interactions with it.
When you accept or ignore a suggestion, it learns from that decision and uses that information to improve future suggestions.
It is important to note that while GitHub Copilot can be a helpful tool for generating code, it is not infallible.
It may generate code that is incomplete or incorrect, so it is always important to review and test any code generated by GitHub Copilot before using it in production.
In summary, the cutting-edge AI-powered GitHub Copilot in VS Code tool helps developers write code more effectively.
GitHub Copilot in VS Code allows developers to produce comprehensive code snippets, complete code, and recommend prewritten code for inclusion in projects.
When working with intricate functions or data structures, this tool helps developers avoid mistakes while also saving them time and effort.
GitHub Copilot in VS Code may be installed, configured, and used efficiently thanks to the detailed instructions in this post on how to get started with it.
Developers may begin utilizing the capabilities of GitHub Copilot in their coding projects by taking the procedures suggested in this article.