Announcing the addition of AI-powered tool GitHub Copilot to curriculum

For over a decade, Hack Reactor has taught the most in-demand skills in order for our graduates to thrive in a software engineering career. Starting with Ruby on Rails and then JavaScript, and Python, we teach the programming languages that employers need. Similarly, we make sure to evolve our offerings of frameworks, practices, and technologies as the industry evolves.

Our graduates work in 2,500 different companies around the world. While different industries in different geographies favor different technologies, we now see an opportunity that transcends language or framework. We see an opportunity to teach an artificial intelligence-based technology that will help make the graduates from our software engineering programs even more successful in their new careers.

The recent leap in artificial intelligence (AI) tools will enhance the productivity of the software engineer like nothing before it. Perhaps the greatest beneficiaries of this technology will be our graduates, and those just starting out or entering the software engineering field. That is why we’re pleased to announce that starting with our June 2023 cohorts, we’re adding GitHub Copilot to the instructor-taught curriculum for all our coding bootcamps.

As a society, we’ve been enjoying progress in AI for years. Whether asking Siri for help, utilizing Adobe software to create beautiful work, or experimenting with ChatGPT, AI has been unlocking potential and efficiencies only dreamt of prior. Over the past year, the potential for AI in the software engineering craft has come into focus and GitHub Copilot (and tools like it) have seen widespread adoption.

Since our first coding program in 2012, we’ve practiced a concept called pair programming. Two programmers take on different roles to solve one problem: one is the Navigator who comes up with the ideas about how to solve the problem, and the other is the Driver who types the code from the Navigator’s ideas. GitHub Copilot is the AI version of the Driver, automatically writing code from the ideas that a programmer asks it to create. Copilot has the knowledge of billions of lines of code and can create working code when given good technical descriptions. Now, both students who are practicing pair programming will be working to solve the problem, while Copilot will do the majority of the typing.

We will teach students how to integrate Copilot into their software development workflow during the later modules of all of our coding bootcamps, after proficiency in programming has been obtained. Students will use this tool to build a portfolio project (a non-trivial application) to demonstrate their ability to evaluate and blend AI-generated code with their own.

Overall, the addition of GitHub Copilot will ensure that our students have the foundation to thrive with or without AI tools, and are able to integrate into any organization with software engineering needs. Our instructional teams, which are composed of industry veterans, have managed the responsible use of productivity enhancement tools throughout their careers and are well-equipped to teach this newest tool.

It’s important to note that tools like Copilot do not take the place of a programmer who is thinking through a problem and designing an app to solve that problem. Instead, Copilot will make the development of that app more efficient. Whether our grads are working on the front-end or back-end when they graduate, Copilot will be an important tool in their tool belt.

As always, we’re proud to support our students’ careers in tech and to give our graduates every advantage possible in the job market. In addition to aiding their job search, our updated curriculum will enable our graduates to make even greater contributions to the craft of software engineering. This is part of our long-standing commitment to reflect what is happening on real-world software development teams.


For more on the topic of AI, read a panel interview with three Hack Reactor in-house experts who discuss the impact of AI on software engineering.

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