AWS CodeWhisperer: A Free Alternative to GitHub Copilot (At Least For Now)
3 min read
— Ro🦀 (@atehrosius) December 14, 2022
AWS has a GitHub Copilot competitor. It's called AWS CodeWhisperer and you can start using it for free today by installing the AWS Toolkit for VS Code.
AI is all the rage these days, and rightfully so. We are seeing some amazing AI-driven applications popup that are producing some really stunning results. One area that AI has gotten quite good at is writing code, particularly using the Codex models from OpenAI.
Over the last year, GitHub's Copilot has been talked about a lot in the tech circles. Copilot is a code completion tool that uses AI to suggest code snippets based on the context of your code, and it's really good at it. However, Copilot is no longer free. Although you can try it free for 60 days, but after that it's $10/month.
So I was delighted when I stumbled across AWS CodeWhisperer, which is a free alternative to GitHub Copilot. So I downloaded it and I'm testing it out.
You can either install this extension from the VS Code Extensions panel or by downloading it from The VS Code Extension Marketplace. You'll know the extension has been successfully installed when you see the AWS logo in the left sidebar of VS Code, as shown below:
Once the extension is installed, you'll need to enable AWS CodeWhisperer in VS Code. To do this, click on the AWS logo in the left sidebar of VS Code. Under the "Developer Tools" section, expand "AWS CodeWhisperer" and click the "Start" button.
You will be presented with a panel that asks you how you want to connect to AWS. You can either connect with your company SSO or using your personal email.
Once your connected to AWS, a terms of service should popup in VS Code. Click the blue "Accept" button and AWS CodeWhisperer should now be enabled in VS Code.
You can configure AWS CodeWhisperer by clicking on the gear icon that is displayed when you hover over the "AWS CodeWhisperer" section within "Developer Tools". The options seem limited to turning the feature on or off and toggling whether you want to share feedback with Amazon, but perhaps this will expand in the future.
I'm just getting started with AWS CodeWhisperer, so it's hard to say how it compares to GitHub Copilot. However, I'm excited to see what it can do and I'm hopeful that it will remain free, but I'm not holding my breath. If you're interested in trying it out, you can download it from the VS Code Extension Marketplace.
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