The State of the Octoverse: communicating with emoji on GitHub

Emoji 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.

On GitHub, developers can express themselves in their preferred medium: words, code, or tiny cartoon images if they choose. To get a sense of how our community expresses themselves with emoji, we looked at which ones they use in (and in reaction to) issue and pull request comments. Our data on emoji reactions covers public and open source repositories between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018.

To learn more about our numbers and methodologies, check out this year’s Octoverse report.


In 2016, we released emoji reactions to quiet the noise of contentless issue and pull request comments like +1. So how are you using reactions today?

Total reactions by emoji

Expressions of approval and celebration make up the most of your reactions. In fact, you’re giving the 👍 and celebrating with a 🎉 more than anything else.

Chart of total reactions by emoji

Percent of reactions by emoji type and programming language

Emoji usage by programming language Looking at projects tagged with a primary programming language, we can see which emoji language communities use most. Comments in Ruby projects had the most ❤️s, and C# users are casting nearly double the 👎s as any other group.

Emoji usage by continent

Beyond programming communities, geographic trends demonstrate how far some emoji reach. No matter their location, developers react to build consensus and to say, “job well done”. For all of our differences, 👍 is the most widely used reaction across continents. Similarly, more negative emoji like 😕 and 👎 are used less often, suggesting that sometimes, harder conversations require more words.

Zooming in, Japan spread positivity by reacting with more 👍s and ❤️s per user than any other country. And developers in the Czech Republic have something to celebrate. They reacted with the most 🎉s on average.

Reaction-provoking projects

You’ve reacted to public comments on topics from managing code to managing depression, expressing laughter, thanks, and support. In the last year, you:

Emoji in comments

Five emoji could never fully represent the complexity of human emotion. When a 👍 isn’t enthusiastic enough, you often post a 🚀. In the last 12 months, the GitHub community created almost 10,000+ issue comments containing no other content but this tiny craft. That’s a lot of warp-speed shipping.

Emoji used in open source issue comments is often tactical, supporting code reviews and to-dos like looking over code 👀, OK-ing changes 👌, fixing bugs 🔨, and applauding good work 👏.

Together, you’re using emoji to transcend borders, get work done, and express playfulness, agreement, and a whole lot of ❤️. We can’t wait to see what new trends in tiny images are up next.

Stay tuned for more posts that dive in 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.

The future of software intelligence: fireside chat

We’re excited to host Jeremy Howard, Co-Founder of Fast.AI, at GitHub HQ in San Francisco on Tuesday, December 11. During the chat, Jeremy Howard will discuss his thoughts on how deep learning will influence the field of Software Intelligence with Sam Lambert, GitHub’s Head of Platform.

Jeremy’s free massive open online course (MOOC) teaches millions of students across the world. He’s also the lead developer of the open source fastai library, which we leverage for our work on Natural Language Semantic Code Search.

Join us for a night of discussion, food, and drinks. Registration is open to the public with limited capacity.

Register now

Date: Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm PT
Address: 88 Colin P Kelly Jr St, San Francisco, CA 94107

Join GitHub and Datadog for Craftwork Paris on December 11

Greetings, Paris! Join us on December 11 for our latest Craftwork event. This workshop is open to developers of any skill level who want to learn how to use both the GitHub and Datadog APIs to build better developer workflows.

GitHubbers and Datadogs will walk you through the process of creating your first GitHub App. This workshop covers the following topics:

  • Introduction to the GitHub Apps flow
  • Probot, a great tool for getting started building GitHub Apps
  • Hosting code with Glitch
  • Using the Datadog API to gain insight into your open source projects

Beginners welcome

Craftwork is a hands-on workshop for learning how to build GitHub Apps and take advantage of the Datadog API—both tools that can help make you and your team more productive. The atmosphere is casual and informal; we will work together and help each other build our first GitHub Apps. You will be able to work at your own pace with the help of GitHubbers or Datadogs nearby, just in case you run into any trouble.

You’ll leave with a working GitHub App that’s deployed and ready to use. But you’ll also have the confidence to continue building the tools you need to be more productive with your open source project, or at your work. Oh, and we’ll have stickers for everyone, too!

Details and registration

Don’t have a GitHub account? Be sure to create one before the event. It’s fast, easy, and free!

Food and refreshments will be provided. If you have any dietary restrictions, please let us know during registration.

RSVP to join us at Craftwork Paris

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!




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