The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Copilot for Code Writing

Kacper Bąk
2 min readMar 17, 2023
Photo by Oscar Sutton on Unsplash

Copilot is a new code-writing tool from GitHub and OpenAI that uses AI to help developers write code. It can be a helpful tool in many ways, but it also has some drawbacks. In this article, I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using Copilot to write code.

Advantages of using Copilot

One of the most important advantages of using Copilot is that it can save programmers time. Copilot can suggest code snippets, functions and even entire files that fit the context of what the programmer is working on. This can be helpful for programmers who are new to a particular language or framework, or for those who need to complete a task quickly.

Another advantage of using Copilot is that it can provide a starting point for programmers. Copilot can suggest code that is similar to what the developer is trying to accomplish, which can help jump-start the process of writing new code. This can be especially helpful for developers who are stuck on a problem and need the inspiration to get started.

Disadvantages of using Copilot

One of the biggest disadvantages of using Copilot is that it can be distracting. Copilot can suggest many different things, which can be overwhelming for some developers. This can lead to a loss of concentration, which can ultimately slow down the coding process.

Another disadvantage of using Copilot is that it can lead to bad coding habits. Copilot can suggest code that is unoptimized, inefficient or even insecure. This can be especially problematic for new programmers, who may not know any better and start relying too heavily on Copilot’s suggestions.

Finally, there are some licensing issues when using Copilot. When a programmer uses Copilot to write code, that code can become the property of Microsoft, which can be a problem for programmers who want to retain ownership of their code. Similarly, using the VSCode language server protocol can result in fines and penalties, which can be a serious problem for programmers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Copilot is a helpful tool for writing code, but it also has some drawbacks. The advantages of using Copilot include saving time, providing a starting point for programmers, and helping to overcome writer’s block. However, the disadvantages of using Copilot include the potential for distraction, the risk of developing bad code-writing habits, and licensing concerns. Ultimately, whether or not to use Copilot will depend on a programmer’s individual preferences and needs. It is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before deciding to use this tool.

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