Using GitHub Copilot will turn you into a bad programmer

Published on 2021-07-21. Modified on 2021-07-23.

It is extremely disappointing to watch people cheer in ignorance at having their FOSS work and time exploited by one of the largest and crookiest companies in the world (GitHub, i.e. Microsoft), but you also need to understand something else, if you're into programming, using GitHub Copilot will eventually turn you into a bad programmer!

Already we have a software industry that is on the break of collapse due to the extremely poor habit of simply trusting and copying huge piles of code from popular frameworks, libraries and sketchy CDN repositories. Now we will lower the bar even further by having a Microsoft AI do our coding for us!

You need to understand your code, down into the very tiniest pieces of it, and you need to understand why it will or will not work. Do you really think that you are going to be able to debug code when you have gotten into the habit of using a Microsoft AI autocomplete service?

And what if I choose to upload tons of security compromising code to GitHub? Eventually the AI will suggest a piece of code that contains a backdoor or something else which will be introduced into your code that you will not understand, and it will run just fine.

It is one thing to use an autocomplety feature of an IDE, but to use an AI and basically have it finish typing up your functions for you, that's about as bad as it gets!

We need to move away from trusting and copy/pasting code, not get deeper into it.

If you're a beginner you may feel that GitHub Copilot is like doing a code review, but it is not. You're not dealing with an experienced person, you're simply getting copy/paste code. Even if the copy/paste produces the best code, you still need to understand the code, and you need to protect yourself against getting into the habit of simply copying and pasting code.

When your client's software gets compromised, or your client's business looses huge sums of money because your project isn't secure or optimized correctly, you're the one responsible.

As a programmer you need to take some pride in the work you do.

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