GitHub Copilot X: The AI-powered developer experience
GitHub Copilot is evolving to bring chat and voice interfaces, support pull requests, answer questions on docs, and adopt OpenAI’s GPT-4 for a more personalized developer experience.
When you’re new to coding, it’s easy to get stuck completing endless tutorials. You can apply what you’ve learned (and learn even more) through GitHub Codespaces. The best part is you don’t need a powerful computer to get started.
It doesn’t matter what stage you’re at in your software engineering career, there’s always something new to learn. As a beginner, it’s so easy to spend more time-consuming tutorials on how to code rather than actually putting it into practice. “See one, do one, teach one” is a learning methodology that suggests effective learning happens when you observe, apply, and then teach a new concept. When you’re new to a programming concept, the “see one, do one, and teach one” is extremely valuable in building your development skills. However, one of the reasons we got stuck in the observation phase is that we don’t know how to apply it. “What projects do I build?” is a common question that new developers ask me. And I’ll admit, I sometimes find myself asking the same question.
Fortunately, GitHub Codespaces is an effective tool that can help you apply what you’ve learned. Let’s discover how to learn new languages and frameworks with GitHub Codespaces, together.
To get started, you will need to log in to GitHub and skip to the next step titled, “Your first Codespace.”
If you’ve never used GitHub before, welcome! GitHub is a platform that developers use to store and collaborate on code. To get started, navigate to GitHub.com, click “Sign Up”, and complete the signup workflow.
Click this link and choose “Use this template” to enter the codespace that I’ve created specially for you! Once our codespace is fully loaded, you will see a live preview of your web app on a tab titled, “Simple Browser.” (If you don’t see the “Simple Browser” tab yet, give it a few minutes to load.) It should look like the image below:
Currently, the web app states that “GitHub Codespaces ♥️ React.” Let’s replace the words “GitHub Codespaces” with our GitHub username by following these steps:
My GitHub username is blackgirlbytes, so my web app says “blackgirlbytes ♥️ React.”
The background color for the React app is currently gray. Gray might be someone’s favorite color, but it’s not mine. Let’s brighten it up by following the steps below:
background-color: #282c34;#282c34 is the hex code for the color gray.
#282c34with the word
purple. (That’s my favorite color!)
The final version should resemble the image below:
I’ve included a guided tour in the codespace to help you make changes to the web app. To initiate the tour, take the following steps:
This looks amazing! (If you want it to render different words or colors, feel free to experiment, but I’m happy with our creation). Let’s publish the codespace so that we can return to it in the future, continue to enhance the web app, and share it with others!
We’re going to save our code in a project folder on GitHub called a repository. To do this, follow the instructions below:
Now that your code is in a repository, you can delete your codespace. Don’t worry; if you delete your codespace, you’re not going to lose your code! Your code will always live in the repository, and you can share this with folks who want to collaborate with you or learn from you.
If you want to reopen your code in a codespace, choose the “Code” button in your repository and click the “+” in the codespaces tab.
Quickstart templates include boilerplate code for some of the most common application frameworks, including Next.js, React.js, Django, Express, Ruby on Rails, Preact, Flask, and Jupyter Notebook. These templates provide developers with a sandbox to build, test, and debug applications in a codespace. This means you don’t have to start from scratch with coding because we already have a working project that you can enhance into the project you’re envisioning. You can use templates to understand how developers structure their projects written in various programming languages. And you can use it to understand how different files communicate with each other.
For example, I’ve always wanted to learn more about artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, but I had no clue where to start. I used a Jupyter Notebooks template to generate AI images. The template already had all the tools I needed. I just had to change a few lines of code.
Congratulations, you just leveled up your programming knowledge. Now, you can continue experimenting with different frameworks and learning new languages in GitHub Codespaces. Check out the other templates if you’re interested in starting a project or learning a new framework language with Preact, Jupyter Notebook, Flask, Django, Express, Ruby on Rails, or Node.
If you are interested in diving into more advanced concepts around GitHub Codespaces, check out our documentation.
If you set up a project and GitHub Codespaces that you’re excited about, share it with us on social media with the hashtag