Experimenting with Github copilot chat for Glific development

Mohd Shamoon

MAY 29, 2023



I was fascinated by Microsoft’s Copilot x after watching the Keynote event. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend watching it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaV0tIaWWEg

Trying out Copilot:

Excited about its potential to improve productivity, I decided to purchase a Copilot subscription and give it a try. Previously, it was free, but now there’s a cost involved. Nonetheless, I thought it was worth investing in.

After purchasing the plan, I downloaded the extension again. However, I didn’t feel that Copilot helped me much earlier when it was free or even liked the suggestions it provided but maybe the chat like structure can be useful.

Exploring Copilot Chat:

Since my experience with ChatGPT had been more interactive and helpful in many ways like building the Monty hall simulation in 5 minutes with just three messages https://mdshamoon.github.io/monty-hall-simulation/, I decided to give Copilot Chat a try.

I joined all the waitlists available at https://github.com/features/preview/copilot-x and was finally selected for the technical preview for chat. I received a lengthy email stating that it’s only available for the insiders’ version of Visual Studio Code (VSCode). I set it up accordingly.

Starting the Experimentation:

To begin, I wanted to address a basic issue that needed fixing in Glific. It involved adding proper types to all files. I deliberately made some spelling mistakes in my chat and proceeded with the experimentation.

Results and Observations:

Overall, Copilot performed well and provided helpful additions. However, it also added some unnecessary elements which are not need in our context, such as an extra parameter in the save handler.

It will definitely help in improve productivity but we should be mindful to not trust it completely and have a simple cross check at the end.

Continued Exploration:

I plan to further explore Copilot’s capabilities and test it on other tasks. I will update this blog with more findings soon.

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