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AI Tools to Help Your Code

Steve Johnson on Unsplash

If you’ve used Visual Studio or another editor to code, then, chances are, you know about code completion: for example, when typing the name of a Python function, the editor will type the full name automatically, saving you some time coding. Some tools will only help complete your code while others will generate code on command.

Earlier this year, ChatGPT became widely available and quickly became useful in programming code. Type a sentence in a human language, such as, “Create a function in Python that finds prime numbers between 1 and 100”, and the software generates multiple lines of code that complete the task.

It’s great to have software that generates code for you but, as far as replacing programmers, it’s a little more complicated than that. Programmers still need to plan how the software application will work and how all the pieces of code interact. They also need to know a programming language well enough to identify security risks and make code faster.

That said, these AI programming tools are fun places to discover how programming will evolve in the next few years — and an excellent way to learn a little programming. You also might be interested in reading this issue’s article about laziness, coding, and how these AI tools fit into the history and culture of programming.

OpenAI Codex

This Microsoft website looks a little like the Scratch website with tutorials, games you can play, and a block coding interface that lets you graduate to coding with JavaScript and Python. Also lets you code for micro:bit and Minecraft.



This tool offers a robust free option with 70+ programming languages and works with 40+ most common code editors.


Replit Ghostwriter

The long-time website emulator that lets you practice coding in many different languages now includes AI to help complete lines of code, write functions, and analyze your work.



This tool is geared towards professional software development shops, but a free version works in the most common code editors.



While StarCoder won’t write code on command, it does work well as an assistant to help you with code completion and identifying areas of code to evaluate.


Github Copilot

Trained on billions of lines of code from the Github repository, Copilot suggests code and complete functions based on what you’re coding.