Severus does the magic

It is not too long after I told you that I was too cheap to pay $10 a month for github copilot and I came up with the idea for Severus, my own AI pair programmer. It was something that went boom. My blog usually doesn’t have more than 20 or 30 viewers a day (at its best) and for almost a week, I had more than 200 views per day. Since people showed interest in yet another AI pair programmer, I have decided to continue working on severus, more seriously.

Severus code generation
Severus is now capable of being accessed as an API

My plans for Severus

So in this article, I may discuss a bunch of problems I may face in the long path of creating Severus and making it available as an end-user software. There are some serious concerns, for example when I talked about the idea of Severus with one of my colleagues, he told me he is concerned about the confidential codes he has written.

Almost all of your concerns are valid (except the one who thinks this whole process is handled by the Illuminati) and those are my concerns as well. The next problem I may face is for the scaling, so I perhaps need to hire a well-educated DevOps engineer.

In this section, I explain all of my serious concerns and needs, and I expect some help from you, the kind readers of the article.

The Community

Creating a community around something which is honestly a weekend project, doesn’t seem like a good idea. You may say this thing happened for the Linux kernel as well. You’re right, but this is a little bit different. There are tons of tools which may work much better than Severus.

Also, it is important to know the place for creating the community. A subreddit? A discord server? A room on Matrix? An internet forum? I have no idea honestly.

So this is the biggest concern for me. The community!

Performance and text-generation glitches

The performance is good, thanks to huggingface inference API. Actually, knowing the fact that huggingface API exists, helped me with the implementation. But I still have some concerns here.

My main concern is that BLOOM starts generating some text which is not or cannot be classified as code. I tried different ways to get better results, but I still need some ways to verify the generated result is code and it’s not a text which includes the code. And this is really the hard part I guess.

For this purpose, I may need some help. Validation must be done on the results in order to get a good AI pair programmer, otherwise it’ll become more like an annoying colleague or an intern who knows something, but can’t gather his/her mind.

The Product

And final concern/plan is the product. For current use, I only have a simple application which runs on port 5000 on my laptop. Nothing more. There is no authentication and no user validation system, no monitoring, no scaling, no infrastructure. Basically a MacBook Pro which runs tons of programs daily and severus is currently one of them.

I had a VS Code extension in mind, also I thought of a web app as the MVP, when you can easily copy your code and then use it in your very own projects (and of course it won’t be the best choice for a confidential piece of code).

Although I have ideas in mind, I still need more brainstorming about how this project should be delivered to you as a product.


I still have a lot to do with this project. There might be some language detection to detect if the generated output is the code or not, and also there might be some more code validation to avoid mixing different programming languages.

Overall, this is one of the most difficult and at the same time the funnest projects I’ve ever done. I won’t give up on this, even if it seems like a painful and expensive hobby to people around me 🙂


I was too cheap to pay $10 a month for copilot, so I made my own

In mid 2021, there was a revolution in coding. As a lazy programmer who always needed a fast and smart assistant, I was really happy to have Github Copilot in my arsenal of coding tools. So I was one of the early adapters of the whole idea of AI pair programmer.

Everything was fine with Copilot. I wrote tens of thousands of lines of code in last year and I could code a lot of projects which were impossible with a good, smart and fast pair programmers, but everything has been changed since last week I got an email from github, telling me I can’t have free access to Copilot anymore.

It was a sad moment in my life, but I had different ways of adapting and accepting the reality. First, I was thinking of paying $10 a month for a github premium account, but since I won’t use most of github’s premium options, it wasn’t a suitable solution for me. I also checked tabnine or kite as well, and those didn’t work out for me, as well.

My own copilot!

Say hello to Severus, my new AI pair programmer!

First, let me talk about the name a little bit. I was watching Harry Potter franchise recently, and my favorite character in whole franchise is non other than Severus Snape. So I named my AI pair programmer after him. But I know you might be curious about how I made it. So let’s find out!

The language model

First, I needed a language model which could be capable of generating code. At first, I had OpenAI’s GPT-3 in my mind but I remembered that for some reasons, I can’t use it. Then, I fell for free language models. I used GPT-J and although it could understand the code, it didn’t seem a very high-accuracy model to me.

Then, I realized that Meta has released OPT-175B model. I put some of its functionalities to the test. It is a really perfect language model, but it works well when you use it as a core for a chatbot or a blog-post generator (or maybe a prompt engineering tool for Text-To-Image models) but not a great code generator.

Then, I found my saving angel. A lot of open-source engineers and enthusiasts of the world and it’s non other than BigScience’s BLOOM.

Code tests and inference

Like what most of you may have done, first I tried to complete a love story with the model. It was cool. Then I tried to create a friendly, a helpful, an idiot and an evil chatbot with the model. All worked out perfectly. Back then, I did not have any limitations to Copilot, so I didn’t care about the code generation.

When I found out myself in misery of not having my beloved AI pair programmer, I tried some basic python code generation with BLOOM. It was fine, then I have tested PHP, Ruby and JavaScript as well. I found that it works pretty well, so I have decided to write a simple inference code over the API.

Code generation may go wrong

Since I didn’t fine-tune the model (and I don’t have resources to) it may glitch sometimes. For example, when you don’t really pay attention to your code formatting, it might generate explanation of the code.

For me, what happened was that it started explaining the code in a tutorial format (and I bet the whole python codes were from towardsdatascience website since it had pretty similar literature).

In general, I may need a solution for this, as well.

Will it be open source?

Yes. At least it’ll be partly open sourced in near future. But more than being open source, it will be free (as in non-paid) and I guess it may be a pro for the tool. I haven’t even paid a single penny on the model, so why should I make you pay for it? By the way I will be open for donations and technical helps from the community.

Future Plans

  • The API
  • VSCode extension
  • A community website (or discord server)


At the end, it seems we have a lot to do with these brand new language models. I found my way to create a free, reliable and smart AI pair programmer and of course I need some help in this way.

I have to warmly thank you for the time you’ve spent to read my article, and I openly accept your comments and ideas.