GitHub CoPilot isn’t changing the future

GitHub, James Gosling declared, according to Gartner, cloud is going to take time, GitHub’s new CoPilot, Forrester analysts call out, Rational Software, misquote Thomas Hobbes, dropped such restraint after, John Basile says, Simon Bisson stresses, other reasons
Credit: Dreamstime

The problem with the future is that it takes too long.

Consider this example: Way back in 2006, Java founder and lead designer James Gosling declared, “The cell phone is tomorrow’s desktop.”

He wasn’t wrong, but he’s also not yet right. Despite the ubiquity of cell phones, vendors still shipped 71.6 million desktops and laptops last quarter, according to Gartner. I wish they didn’t exist. I had to take a vacation day last week because of the unplanned hours spent fixing my neighbour’s virus-laden Windows laptop. I can’t wait for Gosling to be correct, but that day hasn’t quite come.

I’ve been known to make bold predictions in my time (open source burying proprietary software, cloud killing on-premises data centres, etc.), but I’m trying to curb that enthusiasm because, as I said, the future takes a long time. I even wrote recently that the cloud is going to take time.

Not everyone supports my newfound caution. “With TuringBots becoming available,” Forrester analysts Diego Lo Giudice, Mike Gualtieri, and Jeffrey Hammond declare, “roles, tools, and technologies on how we build enterprise apps will change forever.”

By TuringBots, the writers mean “software bots that help build enterprise software”—things like GitHub’s new CoPilot. Yes, it’s possible that such tools will, in fact, forever change the way developers build enterprise apps. But don’t expect that anytime soon.

AI-driven development is here

We’ve been trying to deliver on the promise of no-code/low-code development for decades. As the Forrester analysts call out, we’ve spent years with model-driven architectures and other approaches to simplifying software development (like Rational Software). Although these approaches have helped, software development remains nasty, brutish, and not particularly short, to misquote Thomas Hobbes.

Writing before GitHub CoPilot launched, the Forrester analysts were ebullient in their praise of AI’s potential to transform software development: “Huge innovation is coming in terms of the way we build applications, making AI bots good companions to business analysts, architects, developers, testers, and ops folks during the entire application development life cycle, augmenting their overall analysis, design, development, testing, and deployment intelligence and capabilities.

“In a nutshell, the era of making development, testing, and deployment of software, as well as the building and deployment of AI models themselves, more autonomous is here and developing rapidly.”

If the authors had been restrained before CoPilot, they dropped such restraint after: “With TuringBots becoming available, roles, tools, and technologies on how we build enterprise apps will change forever…

“TuringBots will ‘read’ and ‘learn’ all the above application end-to-end design artefacts and quality requirements, including reference application and infrastructure technology stacks. Together, [application development and delivery] pros and TuringBots will build, change, and refactor applications and scale them orders of magnitude faster than current processes, dramatically reducing costs—all as close as possible to button-pushing agility.”

I know two of these analysts and wouldn’t characterise either as Pollyannaish in their optimism. Still, we may be getting way ahead of ourselves here.

AI-driven development will take time

CoPilot is cool, but is it ready for production today? Yes and no. As with AI in general, CoPilot isn’t ready to replace human ingenuity in coding. It does seem able to knock out some of the busywork associated with glue code or smaller utilities that would normally need to be rewritten across different applications.

Knowing when to trust CoPilot requires a fair amount of human intervention. For example, software consultant John Basile says, “When you are working with it, it will give you 10 items that could be the right fit. Some of them are just flat-out terrible while others are perfect. You really need to sift through the sand to find the diamond.”

Or, as InfoWorld writer Simon Bisson stresses, “You shouldn’t expect the code CoPilot produces to be correct.” This might be a problem. As he points out, “you’re still going to need to make decisions about the snippets you use and how you use them.”

For a relatively inexperienced developer, CoPilot might seem like a saviour but ultimately it might prove an inhibitor to learning, with no good way to know when the suggestions are terrible versus perfect.

Whether experienced or not, developers may find that it’s easier to not rely on something that is mostly correct, rather than make big bets on it (the same way business users stuck with Microsoft Office instead of open source alternatives like OpenOffice. It simply wasn’t worth betting on “mostly compatible” file format fidelity).

Plus there are a slew of other reasons developers may prefer not to go the no-code or low-code route.

None of this suggests there isn’t real promise in AI-driven software development, or in low-code and no-code options. But it’s going to take time. For an industry that still uses mainframes, it’s wise to bet on the future, but it’s also wise to bet on it taking a bit longer than we might like.

News Related


Fitbit Versa 4: news, rumors, and what we want to see

The Fitbit Versa 4 will be the next iteration of Fitbit’s sleek, square smartwatch. It’s not been officially announced yet, but we can make some educated assumptions about when it’s ... Read more »

Bluehost is now also a website builder provider

Top web hosting provider Bluehost has joined the website builder market with its launch of a new platform designed as an editor for WordPress. Bluehost’s new website builder has drag ... Read more »

Black Friday gaming chair deals 2021: what to expect

Black Friday gaming chair deals can dramatically reduce the costs of even the fanciest bucket seats while also offering additional savings on budget supermarket models as well. So, whether you’re ... Read more »

Black Friday 2021 board game deals: what we expect to see

Black Friday 2021 will be a great time to stock up on a wide range of involving and immersive board games, as we’re bound to see discounts on some of ... Read more »

ISS, SpaceLink Collab To Provide New Enhanced Comms Relay Satellites: International Space Station's Accident More Serious?

ISS (International Space Station) and SpaceLink decided to work together. Their latest space collaboration could lead to new and enhanced communications relay satellites. (Photo : Photo by NASA/Newsmakers) The international ... Read more »

Best email services of 2021: paid, free and business providers

The best email service 1. ProtonMail 2. Gmail 3. Outlook 4. Yahoo Mail 5. Zoho If you’re looking for the best email service providers around today, you’ve come to the ... Read more »

Spotify for $0.99 a month? Music streaming service tests lower-cost plans

Spotify is testing out new music streaming plans, including one option offering streaming for $0.99 a month. A reader for tech site The Verge shared screenshots of an offered plan ... Read more »

How to make quick money from home

Let’s be positive. Forget the credit crunch and the age of austerity – we’re going to help you make some money. Don’t worry if you’re no Alan Sugar; thanks to ... Read more »

Best air fryer 2021: ranking the best health fryers we've tested

The best air fryers can create healthier versions of indulgent treats such as fries, chicken wings, and roast potatoes.  Rather than using gallons of oil to deep fry these foods, ... Read more »

How to keep people on your website

We all want to get our site to the top of Google. But that’s only half the story – what happens when people click through to your site? Do they ... Read more »

VPN audits: what do they mean and why are they important?

Install a VPN and you’re asking that provider to protect all your most important online activities, so it’s vital to pick a company you can trust. How can you know ... Read more »

Amazon's Same-Day Delivery Now Available in 6 More US Cities, Offers Free One Day Shipping in Brazil

(Photo : GettlyImages/ PATRICK T. FALLON ) Amazon Prime delivery Amazon will be expanding its same-day Prime delivery service to six more U.S. states. The company introduced the service last ... Read more »

Cyber Monday 2021 Lego deals: what we expect to see

Cyber Monday is a great time to be into Lego, as tons of sets both big and small go on sale. It’s the perfect period to score a new, collectable ... Read more »

PS4 and PS4 Pro Cyber Monday deals 2021: what we expect to see

Tired of being left out in the cold on PS5 availability, or simply after an older console for your gaming collection? In any case, Cyber Monday 2021 could be an ... Read more »

The best Keurig Black Friday deals 2021: what we expect to see

Black Friday Keurig deals can offer already affordable pod coffee makers at even cheaper prices come the holiday season, and with this year’s offers looking set to be better than ... Read more »

Black Friday 2021 headphones deals: what to expect

Black Friday 2021 might not be for a while longer, but that just means we’re counting down the days until we can finally snag some great headphones deals. If you’re ... Read more »

Sea of Thieves Season 3, A Pirate's Life, cross platform, Twitch drops and updates

Rare’s sandbox multiplayer pirate adventure, Sea of Thieves, has come a long way. Since first hitting Xbox One and PC in March 2018, the developer has been working on a ... Read more »

Black Friday Fitbit deals 2021: it makes Sense to take Charge and try your Luxe in the sales

As 2021 has been the year of sports, with the Olympics and Euros all pushed back from last year, it’s very possible you’ve been inspired to get active, and a ... Read more »

GTA 6 news and rumors: when will Grand Theft Auto 6 be announced?

Been thinking about GTA 6 and everything it has the potential to be? You’re not alone. The much-anticipated next instalment in the Grand Theft Auto franchise may not have been ... Read more »

Black Friday computer deals 2021: what to expect in the PC sales this November

We’re expecting some big Black Friday computer deals once again this year. Last year, we saw some aggressive PC discounts from as early as the start of Thanksgiving week, with ... Read more »

Apple Black Friday deals 2021: what to expect it this year's sales

Black Friday will be here before you know it (November 26 to be exact), and if you’re looking to snag a deal on one of Apple’s best-selling devices, then you’ve ... Read more »

Best blogging sites of 2021: Free and paid blog platforms

Best free blogging site Read on for our detailed analysis of each service Free blogging sites have come a long way in recent years, and it’s now easier than ever ... Read more »

Best cloud storage services of 2021

Looking for the best cloud storage provider around right now? Well, we’ve got you covered with the most extensive, thoroughly-researched and complete buyers guide with as little jargon as possible.  ... Read more »

Realme Narzo 30 gets a new variant in India: Price, availability details and more

Narzo 30 will now be available in one more variant in India. This budget smartphone from Realme was launched in June in two storage variants offering 4GB RAM and 64GB ... Read more »

Black Friday monitor deals 2021: what we expect to see

If you’re thinking about picking up a Black Friday monitor deal this year, you’re in the right place. With more and more of us working from home these days, it’s ... Read more »

Love the Nap Dress? You can get these 8 dupes for less

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Many fashion trends of the last year have embraced a comfy, ... Read more »

Sigma's super-telephoto lens could be the new zoom king for mirrorless cameras

Sigma has taken the wraps off its new super-telephoto lens for Sony and Panasonic full-frame mirrorless cameras – and it looks like a compelling new options for sports and wildlife ... Read more »

Best ways to share big files in 2021: Cloud sharing large folders made simple

If you’ve just recorded a home video or created the ultimate mix tape – a digital version of that old chestnut, of course – no doubt you’ll be eager to ... Read more »

Black Friday PC gaming deals 2021: what to expect

While we’re still a way off from the big event itself, Black Friday PC gaming deals could be well worth the wait. Simply put, there’s no better time of the ... Read more »

China turns against video games just as Korean firms see signs of thaw

Black Desert Mobile (Pearl Abyss)Shares of South Korea’s major game developers and publishers declined on Tuesday after Chinese state media slammed games as “spiritual opium,” highlighting the close link between ... Read more »

Expect two hours of 'upcoming games' at Gamescom 2021's Opening Night Live

The next big event in the gaming calendar, Gamescom 2021, is drawing closer and now the date and start time for its Opening Night Live showcase has been confirmed. Presenter ... Read more »

Goqii Smart Stride treadmill with 21.5-inch full touch LED display launched: Price, availability and more

Smart wearables company Goqii has today re-entered in the home fitness devices segment with the launch of Smart Stride treadmill. Goqii claims that it is a fully connected treadmill and ... Read more »

What time is The Suicide Squad released on HBO Max?

Wondering what time you can watch The Suicide Squad on HBO Max this week? The Suicide Squad releases on HBO Max (exclusively for those on the $14.99 ad-free tier) on ... Read more »

Ambrane launches 3 new power banks offering up to 27000mAh battery in India, price starts at Rs 899

Mobile accessories brand Ambrane has expanded its power bank lineup in India with the launch of three devices — Stylo Pro, Stylo 20K, and Stylo 10K. ll these power banks ... Read more »

There's no escaping Google Meet on Chromebooks now

In an effort to make it easier for users to stay connected while working from home or learning remotely, Google has announced that Google Meet will now come pre-installed on ... Read more »

[News Focus] Unions stop Korean automakers from joining global trend to online sales

Hyundai Motor’s online car purchasing platform “Click to Buy” for markets including the United States, Russia, India and Australia, but not South Korea (Screen capture from Hyundai Motor USA website)The ... Read more »

Xero has launched an App Store aimed at small businesses and devs

Xero is hoping to boost its appeal to small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers with the launch of its new Xero App Store. The platform says the launch aims to bridge ... Read more »

PS5 restock: Best Buy, Walmart and Target – when to buy it if you missed GameStop

Trust and credibility (Image credit: Matt Swider / Instagram)PS5 restock tracker Matt Swider has helped 66,000 people in the US buy a next-gen console in 2021 with his tireless 24/7 ... Read more »

Celltrion to develop mRNA COVID-19 vaccine

Celltrion’s corporate logo (Celltrion)South Korean pharmaceutical giant Celltrion announced Wednesday that the company will develop a messenger RNA vaccine that can protect against COVID-19 variants, under a partnership with US-based ... Read more »

Xbox Series X Black Friday deals 2021: what we expect to see

Xbox Series X Black Friday deals 2021 are fast approaching, and, while we’re still a few months away from the big event itself (November 29), it’s definitely worth getting prepped ... Read more »