AI in Programming: Top AI Coding Tools and Assistants (Most are Free)

Programming • Dec. 14, 2023

ai coding

In the ever-evolving landscape of programming, the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a game-changer, revolutionizing the way developers write, analyze, and optimize code.

At SweetBits, we’re passionate about software, apps, and digital tools we use daily, so we know exactly what tools would make a great assistant for programming, which is why we’ve curated a list of AI coding tools and assistants here for software developers.

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What is an AI Coding Assistant?

An AI coding assistant is a software tool that utilizes artificial intelligence to empower developers to write code more efficiently and accurately. This innovative tool operates by either generating code based on prompts or offering suggestions for auto-completion as you write code in real-time.

Here are the key functions of these tools:

  • Automate repetitive tasks and help you focus on more complex aspects of your work
  • Work seamlessly with popular code editors like Visual Studio Code
  • Generate complete code snippets effortlessly from prompts
  • Provide instant suggestions and auto-completions as you write code
  • Check your code, find mistakes, bugs and speed up the fixing process
  • Offer insights for code optimization to enhance efficiency and performance
  • Help you add comments to your code for easy future reference

How we selected the best AI coding tools

With the huge rise of AI coding tool and assistants, it can be hard to keep up with all of them at once. While we are doing our best to find out all decent tools that fit the picks for this article, it takes hours to test all of them. With full transparency, we are safe to say that upon testing many tools and assistants, these were the best ones that made the cut.

Therefore, down below, you’ll only find the top AI coding tools and assistants and now it’s up to you to make the further choice. One thing is for sure, you can’t go wrong and you won’t have to spend as many hours as we did trying each one of these out. Read the full rundown of how we select tools to feature on TheSweetBits blog.

Top 10 AI coding tools and assistants

Most of these tools and assistants can save programmers hours by improving the way code is checked (shifting left), speeding up analysis of the code, improving the security of the app, and more. So here are the 10 best AI coding tools and assistants that can help you get more work done, but most importantly, accurately generate secure code.

1. GitHub Copilot

What if you could have another set of hands and pair of eyes to help you with your programming tasks and projects? That’s how you can think of GitHub Copilot. This coding tool is your personal programming assistant that can help you write functions, but also offer real-time suggestions while you code.

copilot

If you’re a beginner programmer, you’ll learn at a quicker pace by getting suggestions with explanations with code suggestions. Advanced programmers can sit back and relax while the GitHub Copilot checks and evaluates developed workflow. Whenver we came across a bug or a problem we couldn’t solve, we never felt stuck. Instead of using search engines or forums for help, we were able to rely on the tool itself to provide us the help we needed. GitHub Copilot provides real-time instant responses and you can always get assistance upon request.

For those who are part of an enterprise and would like to take advantage of GitHub Copilot in their own environment, the good news is you can. Copilot can be integrated into various terminals and can be tuned to precisely fit various industries and workflows. The pricing is very reasonable. Considering that GitHub Copilot is one of the most popular coding assistants on the market right now and is backed by some of the most knowledgeable people in the AI industry, it really has a lot to offer in return for its price tag.

2. Amazon CodeWhisperer

Amazon’s CodeWhisperer is an automatic code generator that actually changes the way programmers do shifting left. Not only can this coding assistant help check code faster, but it is also super helpful for programmers who want to take a break while having another “pair of eyes” overlooking the code and finding possible errors.

CodeWhisperer

While you code, Amazon CodeWhisperer will generate suggestive code. Sometimes you can expect snippets, while in specific situations it can even be a single line of code. Other than understanding the code and offering suggestions in real time, you can get expert guidance from the Amazon Q assistant bot. Not only can you input your code, but you can also explain it and teach CodeWhisperer what it is you’re trying to do. From there, you can transform your code via personalized code suggestions generated in seconds.

Apart from productivity boost and accuracy, we loved having CodeWhisperer by our side even when we didn’t need much help. It can still your code in real-time so you can code with confidence and spend less time revising the code afterwards.

3. Tabnine

Worried about your delivery times, the accuracy of your code, as well as the security aspect of the programs you create? Tabnine is a great solution that mainly focuses on boosting productivity and moving code quicker from scratch to delivery. This coding assistant helps you write code faster via real-time code autocompletion, function suggestions, and completion, and even by the generation of code blocks upon request.

Tabnine

Tabnine is trained using open-source repositories so you can expect to get code delivered you can use without any legal trouble. However, you can also adapt Tabnine locally. When this is done, you can expect code suggestions that reflect the coding style of your database. What’s even better is that you won’t have to expose your code to adapt Tabnine, and you can rest assured that Tabnine won’t suggest your codes to other programmers, unless your codes are open-source and you give permission. Our integration experience was effortless and Tabnine was able to really code in our unique style.

Besides the coding suggestions, there’s also a Tabnine chat assistant where you can ask questions to the bot. If you introduce the Tabnine to your database, you’ll get personalized and specific answers for your code, including ideas and suggestions. Faster delivery, faster coding, and the ability to get more work done during your work hours, thanks to easy integration are just some of the benefits of Tabnine.

4. CodiumAI

CodiumAI is most known as an AI that tests your code to provide analysis and suggestions on how you can improve it via real-time interactions. Upon analysis, CodiumAI shows you how your code works and how suggested changes could make your code behave. This means you can create more value for the same daily work hours you do without worrying about sacrificing quality over quantity.

CodiumAI

With real-time and regular code checks and analysis, CodiumAI runs tests that show you how your code behaves. If there are any changes needed, you can make them yourself while CodiumAI checks your work, or you can accept suggestions. What’s unique about CodiumAI is that besides code tests and suggestions, it also offers code analysis in a simple-to-understand way. It was a breeze writing code without having to repeat the same steps over and over again. Instead, we relied on auto-complete feature to help us move faster and go much further in our process for the same timeframe.

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced programmer, there’s at least a way CodiumAI can help you. You can improve your productivity, write more error-free code, and actually see your code coming alive even before you finish writing it. If needed, help is always one click away, and here’s the best thing yet. CodiumAI is free for individual developers, so you can integrate it and get started right away.

5. Codeium

Codeium is one of the simplest free coding assistants that focuses on code completion and assisted chat. It can be used as a browser extension so getting started is relatively quickly. It only took us a couple of minutes to set it up. However, we were able to take the advantage of the Codeium extension to change the way we write code. What’s most important about it is that we were able to use Codeium for free as an individual, which is $0 per month forever.

Codeium

Within the free membership, we were able to get help from various features while writing our code. These features include code autocomplete, which is super fast. At one point, we even got stuck writing our code and weren’t sure which option was the best to move forward. We then referred to the AI chat assistant, which helped us understand the meaning of the code and how it would make a difference in the final result.

With unlimited usage and simple support that happens via Discord, we are safe to say that Codeium is one of the easiest coding tools you can get started with today, for free. However, paid subscription models Teams and Enterprise are also very affordable considering advanced features it includes, such as incoming GPT-4 support, advanced code personalization, and more.

6. CodeGeeX

Coding takes a lot of time and if you like to code, just like we do, you’ll love having a coding assistant like CodeGeeX. CodeGeeX is classified as a coding assistant that’s designed to help developers with code generation and completion.

CodeGeeX

We noticed that we also get to translate the code and even ask CodeGeeX if there’s anything we don’t understand about a particular code. This proved to be super helpful since CodeGeeX focuses on the outcome of the code, explaining how the code and changes affect the final product. With only 3 main features, this coding assistant takes things to another level because it utilizes AI technology.

Our coding sessions felt different due to the helpful support during our sessions. If we ever got stuck, we knew that we can ask CodeGeeX questions, as if we would refer to a knowledgeable coder on our team. The main thing is that CodeGeeX can reduce the waiting time and improve the workflow, especially it supporting a variety of languages and IDEs. If you’re not sure how you’d find your way around a coding assistant, we recommend you give CodeGeeX a try, because it’s one of the simplest tools out there.

7. Visual Studio IntelliCode

If you’re unsure if you can trust artificial intelligence or not, then choosing a tool that comes from reliable source is recommended. Visual Studio IntelliCode is an AI coding tool from Microsoft. Coding with the Visual Studio IntelliCode felt like an extra boost of confidence for us and we really liked the whole-line autocompletion. Since Visual Studio IntelliCode analyzed thousands of code contributions on GitHub, we found its auto-completion feature to be of the highest quality.

IntelliCode

Besides autocompletion, there are also quick actions. We selected the line of code and Visual Studio IntelliCode recognized the code and offered the right quick action that would fit our code. You can choose to type the quick action yourself and make further changes or just apply the whole quick action line. The quick action feature combined with automatic code completion really adds a boost to the productivity and we were able to feel it in real-time even during the first use.

We like to double-check the code ourselves and we make further edits. We were positively surprised with the repeated edits feature. This feature is integrated into the Visual Studio IntelliCode and it recognizes frequent edits you make within the code and it helps you apply it to other places, saving you the time you’d spend doing it manually.

8. SourceGraph Cody

SourceGraph Cody is one of the most unique AI coding tools on the market. It’s the tool that was able to read our codebase to help us with coding suggestions and advice that fit our coding style. At SweetBits, we noticed a time improvement in coding, but also an easier approach to long coding sessions thanks to the autocomplete and suggestions.

Cody

With the autocomplete and suggestions, we were able to understand more about our code, and Cody even helped us learn why we chose a certain approach. Whenever there was a question, we go to reach out to Cody in the AI-powered chat and got the right answers. The answers inside the SourceGraph Cody are so thorough that they explain every line of code in detail, with the end result in mind.

Besides working faster, there’s a great feeling of working smarter with Cody’s help. Of course, there are also advanced features where you can take full advantage of this coding assistant. From generating quick tests and repository explanations to defining custom commands – Cody is quick and helpful in all areas.

9. AskCodi

AskCodi is an interesting coding tool that is certainly an assistant with one mission – to help you save time on every line of code. This tool prioritizes speed and efficiency and we definitely noticed this from our first coding session with AskCodi’s help. AskCodi has very similar features to other AI coding tools and assistants, so we noticed well-known features such as an AI chat, quick suggestions, integrations, and code translation.

AskCodi

What surprised us about AskCodi is the fast API that’s aimed at high-performance users, the ability to master CNN Tenserflow basics, and even send Tweets. AskCodi helped us the most with repetitive tasks, allowing us to focus on more-important code lines, with the ability to quickly power through standard code without having to spend hours writing it.

Auto code suggestions also improve the focus and productivity, and if you’re programming at a larger scale like we are, this can save you hours on projects. Rather than losing work to AI, AskCodi really allows you to join forces so you can get more done in a smarter and more productive way than ever before. It’s worth mentioning that there are also Codi apps that can expand the tools’ capability and help you improve your workflow further.

10. Sourcery

Sourcery is an AI coding assistant that helped us the most with code reviews and revisions. Whether you’re stuck and don’t know where to go next or you can’t resolve an error in your code, it’s most likely Sourcery can help you.

Sourcery

With this coding assistant, we felt as if we have a partner at every step of the process. This is something most programmers are way above, but it’s nice going back to the beginning which is when you got the most help ever in your coding career. Whenever we needed answers, suggestions, and better information to navigate and understand code better, Sourcery assistant was there every step of the way.

The ability to automate repetitive work can free up a lot of time and when you finally reach the review stage, we are happy to report that this stage was also as efficient. What’s even better yet is that we were able to use the free version to work on open-source projects. If you’re working on all projects, then you’ll have to go with a subscription, but it’s very affordable considering the help you can get from the Sourcery.

Conclusion

Artificial intelilgence is improving but programming jobs aren’t going anywhere. Therefore, you should combine your knowledge and skills with one of the top AI coding tools or assistants to be way more efficient than ever before.

Whether you’re trying to reduce repetitive tasks, get needed help quicker to improve your skills, or have a helper that will improve your workflow – all of these tools are capable to do so. Of course, each tool is slightly different so it’s recommended to give each a try to find the one that works best for your needs!

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