The Best GitHub Copilot Alternatives for Developers

The Best GitHub Copilot Alternatives for Developers
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Software development used to be a time-consuming and intensive activity. You had to plan, design, write code, test, and deploy applications to production environments—mostly manually. Afterward, it would require continuous maintenance, including pushing updates and patches for optimal performance.

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools, ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot can both help with software development. But while you can generate code with ChatGPT, GitHub Copilot offers more help for writing code. For instance, it suggests code snippets as you type and learns from examples to offer you smart and relevant suggestions. This can make building apps less daunting and more fun.

But there’s an increasing need for GitHub Copilot alternatives that cater to different programming environments, preferences, and requirements. In this article, we explain why you may need these GitHub Copilot alternatives and what features to look for. We also provide a list of alternatives to choose from.

Table of contents:

What is GitHub Copilot?

GitHub Copilot is an AI coding assistant that helps with software development tasks. It has a code editor with auto-complete features that offer suggestions that can save significant development time.

Developed by Microsoft, GitHub, and OpenAI, GitHub Copilot’s generative AI algorithms can process user inputs and produce responses tailored to specific code-related tasks. It can do things like:

  • Generate boilerplate code
  • Analyze code for bugs and errors and improve overall code quality
  • Comment on your code with suggestions for improvement
  • Suggest code completions, speeding up your programming process
  • Provide AI-based recommendations in real time, minimizing your chances of getting stuck
  • Generate detailed documentation
  • Answer programming questions
  • Pull up tailored information from your codebase

Why consider GitHub Copilot alternatives?

While GitHub Copilot can make your software development workflows move more quickly and easily, it may not be suitable in all cases. These are some examples where you might want to look into alternatives like the ones we’ll discuss in this article:

  • Limitations in open-source functionality and support. GitHub Copilot is not open-source, meaning it doesn’t give you access to its code. While you can train the tool using a custom code base, it can’t beat the flexibility of open-source technology.
  • Compatibility. GitHub Copilot is not a one-size-fits-all product—you may need an alternative that fits your unique workflows and programming languages.
  • Pricing. GitHub Copilot is free for individuals, $3.67 per user per month, and $19.25 per user per month, so it may be expensive in the long run.
  • Data privacy. Github Copilot can collect user information, including the suggestions you accept or dismiss. Sometimes, this information can include personal data and identifiers. If so, you may need an alternative that handles personal information more securely.
  • Customization. GitHub Copilot only supports a certain level of customization, and you might need extra features.

Key features to look for

When looking for a GitHub Copilot alternative, you want a software product that performs your desired tasks better and more efficiently. Pay attention to the following features:

  • AI-powered code completion and suggestions. The right tool will generate suggestions and code completion abilities directly in your integrated development environment (IDE).
  • Support. Software developers use many programming languages in their projects. Find a GitHub Copilot alternative with built-in support for the ones you’ll use, whether they include Python, Java, JavaScript, TypeScript, or a combination.
  • Compatibility. Consider if the alternative can be integrated into popular IDEs, including Visual Studio Code, JetBrains, and Vim.
  • Real-time capabilities. Access to real-time feedback and help can be useful in your software development journey. So, focus on GitHub Copilot alternatives that provide real-time code suggestions, autocompletion, and code generation capabilities.
  • API access. Depending on your needs, you can look for tools that offer API services for extended functionality.
  • Hybrid processing. Look for cloud-based and local processing for different security and performance needs. This means the tool can continue working without an internet connection for increased accessibility.

Top alternatives to GitHub Copilot

From Codeium to Replit AI, below are the top GitHub Copilot alternatives to consider.

GitHub Copilot alternatives:

Codeium

Codeium

Codeium generates AI-driven code suggestions for multiple languages. Whether you use Python or C++, Codeium will help you build apps quickly and with less boilerplate code.

The integrated autocomplete feature is context-aware, meaning you will get helpful feedback that fits whatever you’re working on in real time. The Playground feature lets you use Codeum from your browser, or you can use its extension and access core functionalities in your desired IDEs.

Features

  • Greater language support. Unlike GitHub Copilot, Codeium supports over 70 programming languages, including less popular ones like COBOL, TeX, and Haskell.
  • Extensive support for IDEs. It’s compatible with 40+ IDEs, so programmers can access its robust features from their favorite development environment.
  • Context awareness. Codeium analyzes your project file and repository, allowing it to generate more accurate and appropriate suggestions.

Pricing

  • Individual plan is free with limited features
  • Teams is $12 per seat per month (up to 200 seats)
  • Enterprise plan is available for a custom price quote
  • Tabby

    Tabby

    Tabby blends AI and manual coding. Software developers can download and run AI models on their infrastructure, granting them access to core features quickly. Tabby provides plug-ins for Visual Studio Code, NeoVIM, and IntelliJ (Android Studio, PyCharm, and IDEA) IDEs.

    Features

    • Open-source. Tabby is open-source, meaning you can look at its source code and perform various modifications to suit your needs.
    • Highly customizable. Tabby provides a CONFIG file where you can add different settings to control how the AI assistant functions.
    • Repository context. Tabby preprocesses your programming language, producing code completions and suggestions quickly. However, it supports lesser programming languages—popular languages like CSS, Julia, Perl, and Scala are not supported.

    Pricing

    • Free

    Tabnine

    TabNine

    Tabnine is powered by GPT-3 and offers extensive code completion for various IDEs. It’s context-aware, meaning it can make recommendations based on what’s happening in your project.

    The Tabnine coding assistant also analyzes your coding style and uses it to provide a personalized development experience. Plus, it can help perform unit tests, generate documentation, and resolve bugs and errors.

    Features

    • Extensible. Tabnine lets you connect its models to GPT-3’s codebase. As a result, you can train to perform more tailored tasks while abiding by specific coding practices, naming conventions, and programming styles.
    • Centralized customizable. While GitHub Copilot and Tabnine are customizable, Tabnine offers extra support, including managing subscriptions directly and monitoring usage.
    • Switchable models. You can switch between different large language models (LLMs) while using Tabnine chat in real time to access more unique responses.
    • Private mode. Tabnine can be fully deployed in secluded environments such as on-premise servers. However, this feature is only available in the Enterprise plan.

    Pricing

    • Basic plan is free with limited features
    • Pro plan costs $12 per user per month (free for 90 days)
    • Enterprise edition is $39 per seat per month

    Amazon CodeWhisperer

    Amazon CodeWhisperer

    CodeWhisperer is Amazon’s take on AI-assisted coding with a focus on AWS integrations and machine learning models. Its integration with the Amazon Q conversational assistant lets you build new app features using a text prompt, upgrade languages and project dependencies, and review undocumented code.

    Features

    • Automated flagging. CodeWhisperer can filter publicly available code suggestions and provide links to the public repositories. This means you can add appropriate attribution where necessary.
    • Security scan. You get 50 free monthly security scans to check projects for vulnerabilities.
    • More customizable. You can connect CodeWhisperer to your codebase, API, or library to get it to perform more tailored tasks than GitHub Copilot.
    • Support for the command line. CodeWhisperer can enrich your command line with features like inline documentation and code completion.

    Pricing

    • Individual plan is free
    • Professional plan costs $19 per user per month

    OpenAI Codex

    OpenAI Codex

    OpenAI Codex is the underlying AI model powering GitHub Copilot and is available for custom integration. It’s trained on billions of lines of code available in public repositories, meaning it can provide meaningful assistance in your software development journey.

    While the model is predominantly trained using Python, it also supports other programming languages, including JavaScript, PHP, Swift, and Ruby.

    Features

    • Natural language prompts. Users can only interact with OpenAI Codex using text prompts, but it can process and perform tasks on a wider scope.
    • Customizable. Unlike the more abstract experience provided by GitHub Copilot, you can integrate OpenAI Codex into your workflow through an API for direct access to many features.
    • Richer outputs. You can access more detailed coding-related responses and outputs since you interact directly with the underlying OpenAI Codex model.

    Pricing

    • OpenAI is still in beta and currently free

    Visual Studio IntelliCode

    Visual Studio

    IntelliCode is Microsoft’s AI assistant for Visual Studio and VS Code, focusing on productivity and code quality. It supports programming languages like C#, C++, and Java in Visual Studio and Python, TypeScript, and JavaScript in VS Code. IntelliCode lets you refactor your code with ease, and it can help you identify repetition and provide recommendations to enhance code quality.

    Features

    • Whole line autocomplete. IntelliCode can analyze your context and generate up to a whole line of code, which reduces your development time.
    • Detailed examples. See over 100,000 API examples, offering helpful insight for creating robust applications.
    • Tailored list. IntelliCode analyzes your programming style and provides some of your most used concepts in a handy list.

    Pricing

    • Free for Visual Studio and VS Code users

    JetBrains AI

    JetBrains AI

    JetBrains AI develops IDEs like Android Studio and IntelliJ IDEA that let users create applications. Integration of AI tools in these IDEs enhances functionality, so users can access coding assistance features directly in their development environment without additional installations.

    Features

    • Full developer experience. JetBrains’ AI features are tightly integrated into its IDEs, so users can access them directly out of the box.
    • Customizable AI models. Choose which AI models to use in your IDE.
    • Contextual awareness. While GitHub Copilot and JetBrains AI support contextual awareness, JetBrains’ abilities are more refined due to their tight integration in IDEs.
    • Prompt library. JetBrains AI lets you create a library containing your favorite prompts, making them easy to access and use across different projects.

    Pricing

    • JetBrains Pro is $10 per month for individuals and $20 per user per month for organizations, or $8.33 and $16.67 for annual pricing
    • AI Enterprise available via a custom quote

    Cody

    Cody

    Cody is an AI coding assistant with a focus on code refactoring and natural language understanding. It can analyze your codebase out of the box and use the information to give you personalized recommendations to enhance code quality. The integrated AI chatbot also offers assistance through text prompts.

    Features

    • Custom commands. Unlike Github Copilot, Cody lets you set custom commands for automating certain workflow tasks.
    • Model selection. Cody lets you choose which models to use for code completions and chat functionalities.
    • Free tier. Unlike GitHub Copilot’s limited trial period, Cody offers a free plan.

    Pricing

    • Basic plan available for free
    • Cody Pro is $9 per user per month
    • Cody Enterprise is $19 per user per month

    CodeGeeX

    Codegeex

    CodeGeeX specializes in detecting vulnerabilities and offering secure coding suggestions. Its features include code generation and completion, comment generation, and code translation. It currently supports Visual Studio Code and JetBrains IDEs.

    Features

    • Open-source. CodeGeeX uses an open-source model that’s publicly available on GitHub.
    • Private deployment. It supports private deployment, but only for Enterprise users.
    • Shortcuts. You get access to specific functionalities using keyboard shortcuts, increasing accessibility.

    Pricing

    • Individual plan is free
    • CodeGeeX Enterprise is available for a custom quote

    Replit AI

    Replit AI

    Replit is an AI assistant for real-time code completion and debugging. It automates repetitive workflow tasks so you can focus on core activities. Replit can also help you understand unfamiliar code and generate project documentation.

    Features

    • Multi-file code context. Replit can keep track of multiple files in real time and provide actionable insights and suggestions.
    • Collaborative AI chat. This lets you partner with teammates to create software applications.
    • Contextual AI. Replit can automatically identify your preferences and provide tailored experiences.

    Pricing

    • Basic features free for users with a Replit account
    • Advanced AI chat features available in higher-tier Replit plans (like Core for $12 monthly)

    How to choose an alternative

    When searching for the ideal GitHub Copilot alternative, evaluate each option based on the following criteria:

    • How well does the tool match your stack requirements and preferred programming language?
    • How does the tool impact your workflow efficiency and overall development process?
    • What is the tool’s pricing structure, and are there any free plans available to stay within budget?
    • What kind of community support is available for the tool, and how can you access assistance and updates?
    • Does the tool support your code repositories and plug-ins?
    • How easy is the tool to use in relation to your skills, and is it suitable for beginners?

    Find developer jobs on Upwork

    GitHub Copilot is a robust AI programming assistant that can transform your development process, but you have other alternatives to improve your workflow. For instance, AI tools like Codeium, CodeWhisperer, and OpenAI Codex offer unique strengths and tailored functionalities, but you must evaluate each alternative against your development needs and budget to find the right one.

    These AI coding assistants can streamline many software development tasks, but human oversight is still required to check for bias and errors. Upwork’s experienced software developers can help you responsibly harness the power of AI in your workflow.

    If you’re a software developer looking for work, Upwork can connect you with different software development jobs and projects to help you grow your portfolio. Sign up and get started today.

    Upwork is an OpenAI partner, giving OpenAI customers and other businesses direct access to trusted expert independent professionals experienced in working with OpenAI technologies.

    Upwork does not control, operate, or sponsor the other tools or services discussed in this article, which are only provided as potential options. Each reader and company should take the time to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.

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    The Best GitHub Copilot Alternatives for Developers
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