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What GitHub Copilot can do for your organization

Ryan Salva
Ryan Salva // VP of Product // GitHub

We know how difficult it is to deliver high-quality, secure software within tight deadlines, while managing technical debt, and keeping your development teams motivated and on the same page. In this guide we will explore how GitHub Copilot can enhance efficiency, elevate software quality, and provide robust support to your development teams, offering a competitive advantage from an AI-powered coding assistant.

In this guide you will learn:

  • How GitHub Copilot frees developers to focus on higher value work

  • How developers can use GitHub Copilot to boost productivity and deliver value faster while reducing toil

  • How GitHub Copilot can improve code quality and security, leading to better products

Accelerating digital transformation

GitHub Copilot is the world’s most widely-adopted AI developer tool, backed by the industry leaders in AI and designed with the security and compliance needs of enterprises large and small in mind. GitHub Copilot benefits developers and enterprises by:

  • Helping developers solve common programming problems up to 55% faster so that they can focus on higher value work to deliver better products and services.

  • Keeping your data secure on trusted Microsoft Azure infrastructure.

  • Screening code suggestions through multiple filters, such as a toxicity filter and code quality filter as well as optional code referencing filters. For more information about how GitHub protects your data and secures input and output, check out our guide on GitHub Copilot’s data handling.

Both GitHub and Microsoft provide indemnity for their Copilot products, as detailed in the GitHub Copilot Trust Center. For more information, you can also check out our rights and responsibilities guide.

Let's get specific and outline what this transformation could look like within your business.

How GitHub Copilot can help attract and retain talent

GitHub Copilot is the AI development tool that developers ask for by name. The best developers are expensive to hire and onboard, and burnout and churn are a constant threat. GitHub Copilot not only helps them keep up with the ever-changing technology landscape and be more productive, but research shows that the majority of developers using GitHub Copilot feel more fulfilled with their jobs and less frustrated when coding. This can translate to less turnover, and less spending on hiring and onboarding.

When we started using GitHub Copilot the biggest surprise was how useful Chat is. Even developers who were skeptical of using it for code generation find value in the chat feature. I've never seen a tool with a higher rating in our sentiment analysis. We strive for developer happiness at Lyft because we believe happy developers do better work. GitHub Copilot is definitely making our developers happier.

Jun Li
Jun Li // Engineering Manager // Lyft

How GitHub Copilot boosts speed and efficiency

Reducing boilerplate and toil

Many projects require programmers to write repetitive boilerplate code before they can move on to more interesting and valuable work. GitHub Copilot can help with repetitive or unpleasant tasks, helping developers work faster and with less toil.

Reducing context switching

GitHub Copilot Chat can answer technical questions and explain blocks of code from within the development environment, freeing developers from the need to search for information in other applications and locations. For more details, check out our guide on measuring GitHub Copilot’s impact.

Accelerating learning

GitHub Copilot can help developers get up-to-speed on new technologies more quickly. For example, it shortens the learning curve when developers are learning new languages, frameworks, APIs, or libraries. Code suggestions make it faster to write code that uses an unfamiliar syntax, while GitHub Copilot Chat can put answers to their questions at their fingertips.

New hires can get up to speed quickly by using GitHub Copilot Chat to explain different parts of existing codebases. It’s like having a developer who’s familiar with the code right there to walk them through it and answer questions, making it easier for developers to share code between projects and teams, and to collaborate more effectively.

GitHub Copilot Enterprise can take these capabilities further by leveraging your organization’s knowledge base to surface contextualized code suggestions alongside answers that are sourced from your documentation.

The outcome is that developers can deliver software faster, learn new technologies easier, and focus on higher value work.

GitHub Copilot’s integration with our documentation allows our engineers to ask specific questions of our documentation, instead of searching by keyword and scanning the results for what they need. It's a more natural way of interacting with technical content that's saving our developers time and effort.

Jun Li
Jun Li // Engineering Manager // Lyft

How GitHub Copilot can improve quality and security

Surfacing best practices

GitHub Copilot generates code suggestions based on established coding patterns and best practices, using a built-in vulnerability prevention system that blocks insecure coding patterns, including hardcoded credentials, SQL injections, and path injections.

Handling the tasks developers dislike

GitHub Copilot can handle tasks that many developers procrastinate on, like writing tests, code comments, and documentation, or creating mermaid diagrams. This can not only speed up development and reduce toil, but can also improve code quality, readability, and maintainability.

Making code reviews faster and easier

Writing effective pull request summaries is a frequent challenge for developers. GitHub Copilot can automate these tasks by analyzing and summarizing code changes. This is beneficial not just to the developer committing code, but also to the code reviewers reading more detailed and accurate summaries rather than poring over the code. GitHub Copilot can also leverage historical data about the codebase to highlight the most important areas for attention. This can help reviewers better understand and analyze changes, which leads to fewer bugs and higher quality products and services.

Now that we’ve learned about the potential of GitHub Copilot, let’s take a look at some of the most common questions people ask. 

Up next: Establishing trust in using GitHub Copilot

Get started with GitHub Copilot