11 Top Tips and Tricks of Copilot for Java Developers

Rapidops, Inc.
7 min readAug 21, 2023


In the rapidly evolving realm of software development, developers are perpetually seeking tools that enhance efficiency, automate mundane tasks, and provide intelligent assistance. One tool that has ascended to become an invaluable ally for programmers globally is GitHub Copilot, a remarkable tool powered by AI, offering coding assistance par excellence.

GitHub Copilot is your AI pair programmer in the coding journey, a boon for developers navigating the complex landscape of programming languages. This revolutionary tool, launched in 2021, culminates in a productive collaboration between GitHub and OpenAI.

GitHub Copilot transcends the conventional bounds of code editors or IDEs. It isn’t merely a tool but a partner that generates, completes, and refines code based on your comments and the code itself, providing contextually cognizant suggestions.

Regarding how Copilot works, it’s driven by Codex, a new AI system developed by OpenAI, the same innovative minds behind GPT. Codex is a large-scale machine learning system trained on many public code repositories, enabling it to predict and provide various potential code solutions for a given problem.

Through analyzing and learning from billions of lines of code, it proposes code that aligns with your inputs, ultimately rendering the coding process more streamlined and efficient.

Why should Java developers consider incorporating GitHub Copilot into their workflow? First, Java, one of the world’s most popular programming languages, carries a wealth of existing code from which Copilot can learn and provide relevant code suggestions.

It can support you in writing cleaner and more efficient code while also helping to navigate Java’s extensive library ecosystem. Copilot’s proficiency in understanding context makes it a handy tool when dealing with Java’s object-oriented paradigms. It’s like having an experienced Java developer at your beck and call, helping you breeze through the coding process and learning as you go.

Stay with me as we delve deeper into the practical aspects of this coding companion. The following sections explore the top 11 tips and tricks to leverage GitHub Copilot for Java developers, focusing on how you can make the most of this AI-powered coding assistant. Let’s dive in!

11 top tips and tricks of Copilot for Java developers

Venturing into the realm of software development requires a well-honed toolkit to navigate the intricate labyrinth of code. One such indispensable tool is GitHub Copilot, an AI-powered assistant designed to revolutionize your coding experience. For Java developers, this means accessing a wealth of knowledge, advice, and automation that can substantially elevate your productivity and efficiency. Here are 11 workable tips to help turbocharge your Java development with GitHub Copilot:

1. Use Copilot to generate code

GitHub Copilot goes beyond the standard assistance provided by IDEs. Leveraging AI, it generates new code snippets based on your instructions. Whether you aim to implement a new method, construct a class, or build an entire program, Copilot is an ideal starting point.

The power of GitHub Copilot’s code generation feature depends significantly on your comments’ clarity and explicitness. For example, if you type // Generate a method to sort a list of integers in ascending order, Copilot will present a fitting code snippet. Remember, the more context you provide, the more accurate and useful the generated code.

2. Use Copilot to complete code

When you’re stuck midway through writing a complex function or method, Copilot can provide invaluable assistance. It uses the context of your current code and offers suggestions to complete it. For instance, if you’re writing a method to find the largest number in an array and have laid out the structure but are unsure about the logic, Copilot can fill in the gaps.

3. Use Copilot to refactor code

Code refactoring — restructuring existing code without changing its functionality — is a critical aspect of software development. Copilot can offer different ways to refactor your code, making it more readable and maintainable. Whether it’s recommending a switch from traditional for-loops to enhanced loops or suggesting more efficient ways to handle exceptions, Copilot is there to help.

4. Use Copilot to debug code

Debugging is a tedious but unavoidable aspect of coding. With Copilot, you can expedite this process. By analyzing your code’s syntax and structure, it can suggest potential fixes for your errors. For instance, it could offer a null check to handle a NullPointerException you might have missed.

5. Use Copilot to document code

Good documentation is vital for maintaining the understandability and longevity of your code. Copilot can help by generating insightful and accurate comments, ensuring your code is easily understood by others (or even by yourself, months later).

For example, for the largestNumber method above, Copilot might suggest a comment like // Method to find the largest number in an array.

6. Use Copilot to find code

Searching your codebase for specific pieces of code can be daunting, especially in large projects. Typing the functionality you are looking for as a comment, Copilot can provide you with code suggestions matching your requirements.

7. Use Copilot to Learn New Java Features

Learning new features in a programming language can be challenging. GitHub Copilot is a real-time tutor that provides relevant code snippets that use newer Java features. You’re unfamiliar with Java Streams but must use it in your project. Type a descriptive comment, and Copilot can suggest a code snippet utilizing Java Streams.

8. Use Copilot to collaborate with others

In collaborative projects, maintaining coding style and practice consistency is essential. GitHub Copilot analyzes the existing codebase and provides suggestions in line with the project’s coding style and practices. This feature ensures a cohesive code structure, regardless of the number of contributors.

9. Use Copilot to improve your productivity

Copilot dramatically enhances your productivity by auto-generating code, completing lines, refactoring, debugging, and creating documentation. It handles routine tasks so you can focus on complex problem-solving and strategic planning.

10. Use Copilot to improve your code quality

Copilot’s suggestions adhere to best coding practices, thereby improving the overall quality of your code. It helps avoid common mistakes and ensures your code is efficient, clean, and bug-free. For instance, it can suggest more optimized versions of your code, as shown below:

11. Use Copilot to stay up-to-date with Java standards

The world of Java is continually evolving, and keeping abreast of the latest standards can be a formidable task. With Copilot, you can align your code with the newest standards by suggesting the use of new features and practices.

By implementing these strategies, you can tap into GitHub Copilot’s potential, transforming your Java development journey into a more productive and less daunting experience. As the future of AI unfolds, tools like Copilot will become even more integral in the developer toolkit, introducing more sophisticated code suggestions and tackling complex tasks.

Seize the future of development: Embrace GitHub Copilot with Rapidops

In the light of all the transformative benefits that GitHub Copilot brings to the table, it is clear that embracing this AI-powered tool can significantly revamp your Java development process, driving productivity, and enhancing code quality.

At Rapidops, we recognize the transformative potential of such innovations in the digital world. We are committed to empowering our developers with these advanced tools and technologies, fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation. We provide end-to-end digital product development services that harness the latest advancements in AI, like GitHub Copilot, to deliver high-quality, scalable, and efficient software solutions.

If you’re looking to accelerate your digital transformation journey, connect with us to explore how our innovative approaches, expert team, and commitment to quality can help you achieve your business objectives. So, don’t wait. Embrace the future with Rapidops. Reach out to us now.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

As we’ve explored the immense capabilities of GitHub Copilot, it’s natural to have some questions. To help you gain an even more comprehensive understanding, let’s address some of the frequently asked questions about this groundbreaking tool

Q1. Is GitHub Copilot only for Java developers?

Absolutely not; GitHub Copilot is a versatile tool supporting various programming languages, including Java, Python, JavaScript, and many others. The effectiveness of its suggestions depends on the context and the language being used.

Q2. How can I start using GitHub Copilot?

GitHub Copilot is available as an extension in Visual Studio Code. To start using it, you can install the extension from the Visual Studio Code marketplace, and it will automatically suggest completions as you type.

Q3. Does GitHub Copilot have access to my private code?

GitHub Copilot is trained on public repositories and cannot access your private code unless you explicitly provide access. It’s designed to respect user privacy and confidentiality.

Q4. Is GitHub Copilot secure?

GitHub Copilot is developed with security in mind. It uses a model that generates code based on patterns learned during training and doesn’t retrieve code directly from the training set.



Rapidops, Inc.

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