Enhancing Developer Productivity with GitHub Copilot


In the fast-paced world of software development, increasing productivity is a constant endeavor. With the advent of AI, tools like GitHub Copilot are changing the game by significantly reducing the time developers spend on coding tasks.

Experiment Setup:

A controlled experiment was conducted to evaluate the impact of GitHub Copilot on developer productivity. In the trial, developers were tasked with implementing an HTTP server in JavaScript. The group with access to GitHub Copilot completed the task 55.8% faster than the control group.

Key Findings:

  1. Time Efficiency:
    • The treated group, with access to GitHub Copilot, was able to complete the task in an average of 71.17 minutes.
    • In contrast, the control group took an average of 160.89 minutes to complete the same task.
  2. Demographic Insights:
    • Developers with less programming experience, older programmers, and those who program more hours per day benefited the most from GitHub Copilot.
    • The majority of participants had a 4-year degree and above, with an average coding experience of 6 years.
  3. Productivity Estimations:
    • Both treated and control groups estimated a 35% increase in productivity, which is an underestimation compared to the revealed 55.8% increase in productivity.

Real-World Implications:

Extrapolating these results to the population level suggests a substantial amount of cost savings and a notable impact on GDP growth. For instance, in 2021, over 4.6 million people in the U.S. worked in computer and mathematical occupations, earning $464.8 billion or roughly 2% of US GDP. A 55.8% increase in productivity could significantly impact the economy.


The data underscores the potential of AI tools like GitHub Copilot in enhancing developer productivity, especially among less experienced and older developers. Such tools not only streamline the coding process but also have broader economic implications.