More on Copilot for Learners

Yesterday, I wrote that you shouldn’t use GitHub Copilot if you are a new programmer:

But, if you are still learning to program, then I am worried that Copilot would inhibit that. The main way it does this is by not letting you practice remembering.

I just saw a paper called: GitHub Copilot AI pair programmer: Asset or Liability? that studied this issue and concludes:

Based on our findings, if Copilot is used by expert developers in software projects, it can become an asset since its suggestions could be comparable to humans’ contributions in terms of quality. However, Copilot can become a liability if it is used by novice developers who may fail to filter its buggy or non-optimal solutions due to a lack of expertise.

So, check that paper out if you want to see actual data supporting this belief. One of the core findings is that Copilot generates wrong code that is easy for experts to fix, which was my intuition based on using it.