AI Assistants are becoming increasingly popular with developers, with GitHub copilot and TabNine being the two most popular ones. Not only can they complete lines of code and correct syntax, but they can also suggest whole function blocks, potentially significantly increasing a developer’s productivity. Each one has its quirks, and each has pros and cons. Here are some pros and cons for two of the more popular assistants: GitHub CoPilot and Tabnine
- Trained on billions of lines of code, which means increased accuracy
- Gives suggestions based on context within your project
- It can help save you from reading documentation with its suggestions
- It’s a paid service at $10 a month
- Pulls from public repositories, which means that it may pull in insecure coding
- There are ethical and legal concerns regarding code sourcing. When CoPilot launched, developers found that CoPilot suggested copyrighted code.
- It’s not always accurate. Some suggestions may not fit what you’re doing or may mess up your code. GitHub’s website says that in a recent evaluation, users accepted only 26% of the code suggestions.
- Does not use public sourced code to train the AI
- It has the option to run locally, so code never leaves your machine
- Cloud mode
- Has a free plan available (the Pro plan is $12 a month)
- It supports dozens of languages and works with most IDEs
It is not always accurate, so the code must be reviewed and checked. Many say that the code suggestions are even less accurate than GitHub CoPilot.
With both of these assistants, the AI is not perfect, which means developers will still have to exercise caution when using them. They can be a great resource and likely will improve, but they won’t be able to automate the coding process fully anytime soon.
Have you tried any AI assistants as part of your process?
- Yes, I’m using one right now!
- No, but I want to try it in the futue.
- No, and I don’t want to try it.
I’d also love to hear about your experiences with GitHub CoPilot, Tabnine, or any other AI assistants you have used.