GitHub Copilot is a powerful AI tool that works alongside developers to streamline repetitive tasks and reduce cognitive load so that developers can focus on critical in-depth coding challenges. 

A recent survey of developers who used Copilot shows how impactful it can be for developers and their organizations. Ninety-four percent of developers surveyed reported writing better code and 90% reported being more fulfilled as a result of using Copilot.

But, despite its clear benefits, many organizations struggle to ensure the full adoption of Copilot across their development teams. While this powerful AI-powered coding assistant can significantly boost developer productivity, getting a critical mass of users on board can be a challenge. 

So, how can your team move from 20% adoption to 80% or more?

Here’s a roadmap to transform your team from Copilot dabblers to full-fledged adopters:

1. Champion the Why: Build Awareness and Address Concerns

  • Internal Marketing Campaign: Don’t underestimate the power of a well-crafted internal marketing blitz. Highlight Copilot’s benefits through blog posts, team presentations, and team presentations or brown bags showcasing its time-saving features.
  • Transparency is Key: Address common developer concerns head-on. Is it about code ownership or security? Be upfront about how Copilot’s suggestions are just that – suggestions – and developers retain full control.

2. Facilitate Exploration: Hands-on Learning for Improvement

  • Workshops and Training Sessions: Organize hands-on workshops or training sessions specifically focused on GitHub Copilot. Let developers experiment with different features in a safe environment and ask questions.
  • Internal Hackathons: Host internal hackathons with a focus on leveraging Copilot’s capabilities. This gamified approach can foster a sense of friendly competition and encourage exploration.

3. Build a Pilot for Copilot: Explore with a Real-World Project

  • Start Small: Kick off a small project to apply your team’s learning and begin to implement their new skills. Identify a project that can be easily seen across the organization and can be treated as a priority.
  • Win and Learn: This real-world project can be a win-win situation for your team and organization. Either the project is successful and sets the precedent for new projects to be built or your team will learn valuable lessons that can be applied in your continued implementation journey.  

4. Enable Your Teams: Share Stories

  • Case Studies: Showcase real-world examples of how Copilot has benefited your developers. How did it speed up development? How did it allow developers to stay in the flow? Did it help a junior dev tackle a complex task? Prioritize stories that can be measured through survey data or direct metrics. 
  • Internal Champions: Identify early adopters who want to learn Copilot and encourage them to mentor their peers. These champions can become internal advocates and answer questions. Is there a business champion that can help showcase the benefits? There is evidence that good DevEx yields higher efficiencies and quicker time to market, so having a business champion should help push this along a lot.

5.  Gather Feedback and Iterate: Make it Work for Your Team

  • Feedback Channels: Establish clear and easy-to-access feedback channels for developers to share their Copilot experiences. This allows you to identify pain points and areas for improvement.
  • Context is Key: Remember, a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works. Achieving good results with Copilots requires an implementation and adoption strategy that is based on your organization’s specific needs.

6.  Share Your Learning: Build an Internal Knowledge Base

  • Knowledge Base: Create a centralized knowledge base specifically focused on Copilot within your organization that includes lessons learned, training opportunities, and access to internal Subject Matter Experts. This empowers developers to find answers quickly.
  • Documentation: Develop and share internal documentation. Be sure to develop easy-to-read assets like a quick start guide, FAQ guide, or “How We Use Copilot at Our Company” checklist. Keep these introductory assets short and direct for the most impact.

Bonus Tip: Consider offering incentives or gamification elements to encourage initial trial and continued use.

With a well-defined strategy and a commitment to ongoing support, you can watch your GitHub Copilot adoption rates soar, taking your development team’s productivity to the next level.

How Coveros Can Help

Coveros is a premier services partner with GitHub, providing both training opportunities and implementation support. Struggling to increase the adoption of Copilot or other critical GitHub tools? Our experts can help you build a strategy of adoption that works.

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