The State of the Octoverse: breaks and holidays

The State of the Octoverse - Breaks and holidays

This article is part of a series based on our 2018 State of the Octoverse report—trends and insights into GitHub activity, the open source community, and more from the GitHub Data Science Team.

Time plays a big role in how you collaborate on GitHub—time of day, time of the week, and time of year. In our Octoverse report, we shared an overview of GitHub activity trends across the world. While everyone’s schedule is different, it turns out we all have something in common no matter where we are: making time for the people and projects that matter most.

The time you spend on and away from GitHub tells us something equally important. You’re putting in the hours for your favorite open source projects, but you’re also giving yourself breaks to recharge and celebrate the holidays. To show this seasonality of GitHub activity, we analyzed contribution density in open source, public, and private repositories aggregated at hourly, weekly, and annual levels.

Breaks during the day

Repository activity throughout the day

When it comes to daily routines, activity in private, public, and open source repositories all follow a similar pattern during daytime hours. We’ve found that work increases hour by hour in the morning, with activity hitting an initial peak at around 11:00 local time. This is followed by a noticeable dip of several hours before the day’s second activity spike at 15:00.

So what’s happening in between? Say “thank you” to the circadian rhythm–no matter what type of project you’re working on, chances are you’re stopping to grab a bite to eat. We can see that contributors in Mexico and Argentina take lunch later in the day compared to contributors in the U.S. And in China, a midday break is serious business, with the lunchtime change across all repositories even more pronounced.

After lunch, work picks back up until activity in private repositories begins to wind down for the night.

Breaks by repository

Repository activity throughout the week

Then something else happens: contribution to public and open source repositories increases. In places like Japan and Singapore, you keep contributing to open source projects until it’s time to go to sleep–and the day starts all over again.

At the end of the work week, you relax, recharge, and maybe spend some time on personal projects. Saturday and Sunday are the quietest days of the week on GitHub across all continents—but while lower than weekdays, contributions stay steady for both public and open sources repos.

In comparison, contributions to private repositories hit an all-time high during mid-week. And we see this same trend across all repositories, not just private. The greatest percentage of contributions happen on GitHub between Tuesday and Thursday.

Holidays and breaks during the year by region

Activity in repositories throughout the year

With several major holidays around the world coming soon, we’re now approaching the biggest indicator of activity on GitHub: seasonality.

No matter where you’re located, you’re giving yourself several breaks throughout the year–whether to celebrate with family or take that much-needed vacation.

We see changes across every region during different holiday seasons and (sometimes correlatingly) when students are out of school.

A few specific dates and times of year also stand out:

  • January 1: As the first day of the year for countries that use the Gregorian calendar, New Year’s Day is the quietest day on GitHub annually.
  • January and February: Activity slows down in Asia (and China in particular) between January and February, depending on when Chinese New Year falls.
  • May 1: We see a change in overall activity the first week of May when around 80 countries celebrate Labor Day.
  • October and November: Projects scale back in India, China, and other parts of Asia during Golden Week and Diwali. We also see a drop in activity in the U.S. during Thanksgiving.

Looking forward

As exciting it is to see how you collaborated on GitHub over the last year, we’re also happy to find you’re taking time away. Through all the different ways that we work and celebrate around the world, one thing is for sure: everyone deserves a break.

Stay tuned for more posts that dive into data on the GitHub Blog—or check out our reports on projects and programming languages to see what a community of 31 million developers can accomplish in a year.

Celebrate Local Hack Day with MLH and GitHub on December 1!

Celebrate Local Hack Day

Join us on December 1, for Major League Hacking’s (MLH) 5th annual Local Hack Day, a global hackathon and celebration of learning, building, and sharing. With more than 200 locations around the world, this is the perfect excuse for you to gather with your local tech community or join a new one.

Hackathons are learning-focused invention marathons where participants dream up fun, interesting projects and work in small teams to bring them to life during the event. Your project could be anything from a website to a mobile app to a robot…and beyond! When you’re not working on your project there are also plenty of other things to do attend educational workshops, make friends, or share what you’re learning.

You don’t need to be an expert to participate in Local Hack Day, either. All experience levels are welcome, regardless of whether you’re a first-timer who is learning to code or you attend hackathons regularly. All you need to do is find a location near you from the Local Hack Day website and register.

Everyone who attends a Local Hack Day gets access to the GitHub Education Pack, which has tons of free developer tools to help you build an awesome project (along with lots of GitHub swag). Some of the locations will even have a GitHub Campus Expert available to help mentor participants.

Over 40 countries, 200 cities, and 7,000 attendees have joined us to celebrate Local Hack Day

This is MLH’s 5th year organizing Local Hack Day, and GitHub is proud to be hosting the event for the 3rd year in a row. In 2017, the event brought out more than 6,000 participants across 34 countries and 236 cities around the world. This year’s event is shaping up to be the biggest one yet.

Spread the word about Local Hack Day by using the hashtag #LocalHackDay on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. We can’t wait to see you there, happy hacking!

Developers on the world stage—global commitments on building an internet of trust

The Internet of Trust: Internet Governance Forum

GitHub represented developers at two events during Paris Digital Week: the Paris Peace Forum, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the World War I Armistice, and the United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF), themed the “Internet of Trust.”

As part of our work there, we committed to a cybersecurity initiative and spoke about open source projects as a model for community governance. Developers have the most to gain from building an internet of trust—and the most to contribute.

Collective action on cybersecurity

On November 12, GitHub joined 370 governments, businesses, and civil society groups in the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace—a commitment to support principles and norms to protect people and critical infrastructure.

We joined this effort recognizing that cyberspace is built by developers, and it’s susceptible to attacks in ways that developers can help prevent, anticipate, or combat. Coordinated efforts to protect people and the digital infrastructure they rely on from systemic or indiscriminate cyberattacks certainly benefit developers, who are on the front lines of these attacks. Developers can help by prioritizing security and resilience in their projects. This is not solely a technical task—cooperation is required, and to sustain cooperation, governance.

Open source as a model for community governance

When he launched the Paris Call at the IGF on November 12, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke about a range of other internet-related topics, including content moderation. This is another area where open source project maintainers can help—by showing how community-run projects can be effective to create welcoming, inclusive, safe spaces for online collaboration.

GitHub strongly champions community self-management because communities can have the ability to be constructive and nuanced—contributing to rebuilding trust online, and lessening the need for other layers of regulation, from companies enforcing their Terms of Service to action by government regulators.

We presented on open source projects at IGF in a session on community governance. Open source communities are built on shared goals and objectives (like building software). Open source maintainers also share goals with the platforms they collaborate on: promoting positive participation and fending off abuse. We emphasized best practices:

  • Be clear about the rules governing behavior and content
  • Make sure those rules reflect the community’s norms
  • Moderate respectfully and effectively using appropriate tools
  • Establish penalties for violations, and enforce them

We described resources, such as Open Source Guides, that GitHub provides for maintainers seeking ideas on how to write a Code of Conduct, build welcoming communities, and resolve conflicts. Participants were interested to hear about how open source projects work. Several left the discussion expressly recognizing how community moderation practices in open source could be used in other contexts.

We want to give a big thanks to Wikimedia for organizing and moderating the session, and to Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), Mozilla, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) who joined GitHub as speakers.

We are also thankful to our community. We’re happy to see governments join companies in committing to peace, security, and trust on the internet. This couldn’t happen without you! Developers are central to making these commitments a reality: as programmers creating secure code, as leaders creating inclusive communities, and as citizens creating technically informed policy.

The State of the Octoverse: top programming languages of 2018

Top programming languages on GitHub

This article is part of a series based on our 2018 State of the Octoverse report—trends and insights into GitHub activity, the open source community, and more from the GitHub Data Science Team.

At the core of every technology on GitHub is a programming language. In this year’s Octoverse report, we published a brief analysis of which ones were best represented or trending on GitHub. In this post, we’ll take a deeper dive into why—and where—top programming languages are popular.

There are dozens of ways to measure the popularity of a programming language. In our report, we used the number of unique contributors to public and private repositories tagged with the appropriate primary language. We also used the number of repositories created and tagged with the appropriate primary language.

Top programming languages by repositories created, 2008-2018

Top repositories, year over year, by number of repositories created

Today, there are more repositories created in JavaScript than in any other language. Repositories created have been rising steadily for the last decade—and you’ll see a steady uptick after 2011. At this point, GitHub was approaching nearly 1 million repositories total, and new JavaScript servers like Node.js (launched in 2009) were making it possible for developers to use the same code for the client and the server.

Top programming languages by contributors as of September 30, 2018

Top programming languages by contributor

JavaScript also tops our list for the language with the most contributors in public and private repositories. This is true for organizations of all sizes in every region of the world. However, we’ve also seen the rise of new languages on GitHub. TypeScript entered the top 10 programming languages for public, private, and open source repositories across all regions last year. And projects like DefinitelyTyped help people use common JavaScript libraries with TypeScript, encouraging its adoption.

We’ve also seen some languages decline in popularity. Ruby has dropped in rankings over the last few years. While the number of contributors coding in Ruby is still on the rise, other languages like JavaScript and Python have grown faster. New projects are less likely to be written in Ruby, especially projects owned by individual users or small organizations, and much more likely to be written in JavaScript, Java, or Python.

Languages ranked by continent and number of contributor

In the last 12 months, we haven’t seen much variation in language usage across regions. However, TypeScript is higher ranked in South America and Africa than in North America and Europe. This might be because developer communities in Africa and South America are relatively newer. The repositories that were contributed to in Africa and South America in the last year are, on average, younger than repositories in North America and Europe. And perhaps this means they’re more likely to focus on newer developer technologies.

Fastest growing languages by contributors as of September 30, 2018

Fastest growing languages by contributor

PowerShell, used in many projects owned by larger companies, is climbing our list. Similarly, Go, which has been on our lists for larger organizations, continues to grow across repository type: it’s #9 this year for open source repositories, too. We’re also seeing trends toward more statically-typed languages focused on type safety and interoperability: Kotlin, TypeScript, and Rust are growing fast.

So what makes a programming language popular in 2018? Here’s what we think.

Type safety

With the exception of Python, we’ve seen a rise in static typing, likely because of the security and efficiency it offers individual developers and teams working on larger applications. TypeScript’s optional static typing adds an element of safety, and Kotlin, in particular, offers greater interactivity, all while creating trustworthy, type-safe programs.


Part of the reason TypeScript has climbed our rankings is because of its ability to coexist and integrate with JavaScript. Rust and Kotlin are also on the rise, both of which find built-in audiences in C and Java, respectively. Python’s versatility and interoperability are also impressive; for example, developers can directly call Python APIs from Swift.

Interoperability doesn’t only imply that languages have a pre-existing community to use and build on them. It also means that they can transcend and intermingle with different communities. For example, Kotlin was acknowledged as a first-class citizen on the Android platform last year.

Open source

And, of course, these languages are also open source projects, actively maintained on GitHub. Communities that evolve, answer questions, and create resources for newer languages like Kotlin can help developers start and continue working with them in 2018 and beyond.

Are you as excited about data as we are? Check out other posts from our State of the Octoverse series on trending regions and repositories. Or tune into the GitHub Blog for more insights from our Data Science Team.

GitHub at AWS re:Invent

GitHub at AWS

GitHub will be at AWS re:Invent from November 26-30 in Las Vegas, Nevada. We can’t wait to see you there.

GitHub and AWS

GitHub works alongside AWS, so your team can collaborate quickly and securely with the tools they already use. With GitHub and AWS, you can integrate existing workflows and save time to focus on what’s important: your code. At AWS re:Invent, we’re hosting events throughout the week to help you learn how GitHub and AWS work together. Join us to see what’s new!

Check out our booth

Find us at booth #807 near the entrance of the Expo at the Venetian. Be sure to save your seat and stop by for one of several booth sessions, including:

  • Deploy to Lambda with GitHub and Jenkins
  • Your first GitHub Action: Deploying to AWS
  • AWS Security Automation Orchestration (SAO) and GitHub
  • Rise of the Machines: How GitHub Uses Machine Learning to Improve Software Development

Meet with GitHub Engineers

Schedule 1:1 meetings with GitHub Solutions Engineers to ask for advice and get in-depth information on how GitHub works for businesses.

Learn about GitHub Enterprise on AWS

In a featured session, Cox Automotive will share their experience running GitHub Enterprise on AWS. They’ll discuss their GitHub Enterprise environment and share how they’ve improved their processes for managing GitHub Enterprise on AWS with Terraform.

To attend this session, join us on Monday, November 26 at 4:45 pm PT at the Venetian, Level 2, Titian 2205-T2. Look for session ENT356-S in the event catalog to register.

For more details about the event follow @GitHub and tag us with #reinvent. We hope to see you in Las Vegas!




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