AI Developer Chart

Developers Are Quickly Adopting Generative AI Tools, Especially GitHub Copilot [Chart]

Software developers are keen to incorporate generative AI tools, and plenty already has done so, according to coding Q&A site Stack Overflow’s 2023 Developer Survey. The results found that 44% of developers are already using AI tools, and 26% are planning to do so. Students learning to code are even more likely to employ AI tools, reaching 55% in the survey. That doesn’t mean every AI tool is equal, however. Even as they are becoming ubiquitous as a whole, there’s a particular fondness for GitHub Copilot. Built with OpenAI’s Codex model, Copilot was among the first of its peers and rode the ChatGPT tsunami of attention. That may be why its nearest rival, Tabnine, is at 13%, and Amazon Web Services CodeWhisperer sits in third with 5%. None of the other seven options crack 2%, with “other” coming closest.

Those results are stark in the chart above. GitHub Copilot is far and away the leading tool currently used by developers that they plan to keep up with next year at 72% and the one that most developers said they are planning to adopt in the next year at 75%. These “admired” and “desired” ratings, respectively, are reversed in their order compared to all of the other tools. That means more developers want to try it than have had a chance, suggesting a lot of potential growth for GitHub’s generative AI coding assistant. The admired rate drops to 53% for AWS CodeWhisperer and 37% for Tabnine, while desired is even lower at 15% and a little over 7%, respectively.

“While a growing number of developers are using AI tools, they aren’t using a wide variety,” Stack Overflow’s Erin Yepis explained in a blog post. “Professional developers may need time to adjust existing workflows, and will most likely be motivated by their junior colleagues who are using AI tools while learning to code. It’s early days in the hype cycle for these newer AI technologies. We expect that a little more time may need to pass before we see developers using more AI tools more broadly.”