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.
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.
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 (and #7 overall). 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.
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.
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.
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.
As we celebrate Code.gov’s second birthday, it seems like just yesterday Alvand Salehi was introducing Code.gov from the main stage at GitHub Universe. But now two years and over 5,200 projects later, Code.gov (and the Federal Source Code policy that created it) are starting to hit their stride. I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the exciting government projects currently on GitHub, and dive into the data around how the government community uses GitHub to collaborate. Like the Code.gov team says, “[we] believe in innovation, and are passionate in making these open source projects all available to you.”
Out of the 4,800 publicly accessible government projects on Code.gov, more than 3,600 (or 75 percent) are hosted on GitHub.com. This makes sense, as the majority of the world’s open source already on GitHub. However, it’s also a pretty big deal. Government agencies like NASA and the U.S. Army are using GitHub to share their tools and resources with the greater open source community around the world. Take NASA’s 3D Resources project, for example.
Interested in textures, models, and images from NASA itself? The NASA-3D-Resources repository has it all, including pictures of earth from the Apollo missions and models of the satellite used in the Clementine mission.
You can’t 3D print your own Mars rover—yet. But with contributors like the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, “yet” may definitely be the operative word.
Another exciting government project is ZFS, a file system released by the Department of Energy that runs specifically on Linux. This open source project has not only been embraced by other agencies, but has been adopted by private companies as part of their day-to-day operations.
Notable adopters of ZFS on Linux include GE Healthcare Systems, Intel, and Netflix. As for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)—the research facility answering to the Department of Energy and those behind this OSS—they continue to utilize ZFS, and continue to develop and improve the platform. LLNL is working closely with Intel to use a variation of ZFS-ZFS+Lustre—to manage the first planned U.S. exascale system, Aurora. Aurora is capable of a billion-billion calculations per second. (Yes, a billion-billion.) Aurora is slated for 2021 at Argonne National Lab.
Aside from how the government is sharing projects, we also took a look at the numbers to find out how the community is using GitHub to collaborate on these projects.
Our top 10 findings are just a few examples of how government projects use GitHub. Looking deeper into the data can tell us even more about how they contribute to the entire open source community. With thousands on thousands of commits, many have sparked the attention of both the public and private sector:
This is what Code.gov is all about. All of the government projects we’ve mentioned in this post are designated as open source. That means that you can access a repo, test, debug, submit pull requests, or download your own copy and adapt it for your own use.
As the Code.gov team has shared with us, they believe in innovation and providing everyone the opportunity to perform a civic duty on a digital platform. They’re passionate about making these open source government projects available for all. This spirit is embodied in their hashtag, seen often on their Twitter account: #CodeOn. The invitation to reach out to them on Twitter or LinkedIn is always open, and we highly encourage you to do so.
Open source helps people create new and exciting things every day—including the code we used to collect data for this post. Check it out here.
Today we reached a major milestone: 100 million repositories now live on GitHub. Powering this number is an incredible community. Together, you’re 31 million developers from nearly every country and territory in the world, collaborating across 1.1 billion contributions.
Repositories are where you store code, but they represent much more: ideas, experiments, curiosity, and moments of inspiration. To celebrate, let’s take a look at a few trends and achievements, a core sample of what’s possible when we work together by the millions.
To put this milestone into perspective, we totaled only about 33,000 repositories in 2008. Today, we’re seeing an average of 1.6 repositories created every second. In fact, nearly one third of all repositories were created in the last year alone—all thanks to the developers who choose to host, build, and share their work on GitHub.
Over the last 10 years, it’s been a pleasure to watch impactful projects build and grow on GitHub. Rails moved to Git and GitHub while the platform was still in private beta, and Node.js launched on GitHub in 2009. Since then, we’ve also had the opportunity to host Swift, .NET, and Python. Supported by thousands of contributors, these projects are raising the bar for how developer tools evolve and engage with their communities.
Just this year, we’ve seen countless projects take off, started by individuals and larger teams alike. Projects like Definitely Typed, Godot, Kubernetes, PyTorch, and more climbed our lists of top and fastest growing projects.
Projects on this year’s lists have a theme: they make it easier to build software, whether through code editing, automation, containerization, or documentation.
This year, the open source repositories you’ve created span thousands of topics, but these are the ones you contributed to the most:
GitHub started with a small group of developers looking to solve a specific problem—now it’s home to a global open source community. And we’re seeing the proportion of open source contributors outside the U.S. grow every year.
As a continent, more repositories are coming from Asia than anywhere else in the world. More specifically, repository creation has picked up across Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. While there’s an increase in repositories from developed countries, we’re seeing the same trend in emerging countries as new tech communities grow and new technologies becoming more accessible.
Developers in Egypt, in particular, created twice as many public and private repositories this year. And in Nigeria, a growing developer community created 1.7x more open source repositories in 2018 than in 2017. To see why we think Nigeria has a tech community to watch, read our latest post on the region.
After 10 years and 100 million repositories, we’re only just getting started. Thanks to our users, we’re building something bigger than any single repository or project—a community that’s pushing software forward in tangible ways. So thank you for building with us now and in the years to come. We can’t wait to see what you build together in the next 100 million.
Interested in seeing more insights into the GitHub community? Check out this year’s State of the Octoverse report.
This article is the first in a series based on The State of Octoverse—trends and insights into GitHub activity, the open source community, and more from the GitHub Data Science Team.
In February, we reflected on a trip to Nigeria and everything we learned about its growing tech community. Economic changes, expanding educational opportunities, and wider internet access are mobilizing a talented and entrepreneurial community. And together, they’re pushing software forward in Africa’s largest economy.
On our trip, we saw this changing landscape close up at packed meetups and student groups. In our 2018 Octoverse Report, the numbers were clear. Across several measures, the developer community in Nigeria is growing fast. In 2018 alone, we’ve seen:
To learn more about our data and methodologies, check out this year’s State of the Octoverse.
*We define contributors broadly as any user taking a substantive action on GitHub (pushed code, opened an issue, or merged a pull request, for example) that added new content to the platform in a public or private repository.
Behind our numbers is a young, growing community excited about software development and its potential to address some of the challenges Nigeria faces today. With excitement and opportunity comes an expanding startup ecosystem and the venture capital, accelerators, training programs, and hubs to support it.
Nigerian startups are growing accordingly across industries. The fintech industry is booming in particular, as a result of a changing financial landscape. According to Stephen O’Grady, Principal Analyst at Red Monk:
In 2016 and 2017, 42 percent of Nigerians had access to traditional financial services, which has lead to growth in projects that have tried to bring these to the Nigerian population. Without existing infrastructure, they have the opportunity to take the next step forward.
Nigeria still relies heavily on cash, but fintech companies like AmplifyPay, Paga, and PayStack (which you can find on GitHub) are streamlining the way people bank and gaining tens of thousands of individual and business users. With millions of dollars raised, these companies underscore an investment trend that has spread across African tech ecosystems, reaching a high of $195 million in 2017 alone. These startups have also spurred local developers to build an ecosystem of applications and integrations.
Through GitHub Education and our global group of Campus Experts, we’ve had the opportunity to support Nigerian students building tech communities that train and mentor new developers within their schools. So far, we’ve watched local Campus Experts create summer coding camps for women, host and speak at national software summits with 1,000+ attendees, organize open source meetups, and more.
We’re excited to see what Nigeria’s growing developer community builds on GitHub into 2019 and beyond. Want to learn more? GitHub Data Scientist Anna Filippova and Red Monk Principal Analyst Stephen O’Grady chatted about why Nigeria is trending in a recent GitHub Universe session.
Stay tuned for more posts that dive into data on the GitHub Blog—or check out The State of the Octoverse to see what a community of 31 million developers can accomplish in a year.
As a student trying to ship code without a community to help you, small setbacks can add up to a massive feeling of frustration, even isolation. Who can you brainstorm with? What about sharing the brilliant solution you devised, 10 pull requests later? As rewarding as contributing to open source can be, it’s also a challenge to go it alone.
GitHub Field Day, a day-long “unconference”, solves this problem by bringing together students from their local communities to connect and share experiences. This summer marked the first anniversary of GitHub Field Day, which has grown to meet the needs of communities around the world.
Intern (and now GitHubber) Wilhelm Klopp (Wil) created Field Day to share information across campuses and learn from mistakes, all while making friends. With an unconference, participants in each session can freely engage in discussions, collaborate, take a break, or decide to move to other sessions.
When you attend a local Field Day, the structure of the event invites you to participate as little (or as much!) as you’d like. Think of it like a “choose your own adventure” game—you control your experience, and you can suggest topics for technical discussions and activities that are timely and relevant to you. More importantly, you’ll have fun, feel welcome, and enjoy meeting other student leaders.
Every Field Day is different, and each one has something for us to take away to our local communities. Here’s a walkthrough to give you a sense of Field Days from each region, along with some helpful tips.
As a Campus Expert Wil noticed a trend that every Expert reported: when a student leader experienced a problem, who did they turn to? There wasn’t an outlet for them in their local communities. This was how the idea for Field Day started, and Wil set out to launch a beta event.
Inaugural Field Day
One of the key skills you learn as a Campus Expert is how to observe the needs of your community. The first Field Day showed that Wil was onto something—students want this kind of knowledge base, some form of face-to-face support for their shared struggle.
At the time, Field Day’s project name was “Umbrella”—an umbrella event for leaders of technical student communities. Ultimately the name evolved, but the project name still hangs on as part of the branding: the purple umbrella ☔.
The first Field Day unconference schedule included a Pizza programming contest, teaching CS to complete beginners, creating the membership identity, inclusivity of international students, and building an API for students at university
Los Angeles Field Day attendees
Campus Expert Catherine Chung at the University of Southern California has a habit of noticing “what’s missing” in her on-campus community. After joining the ACM chapter, and creating an all-female hackathon for schools in her region, AthenaHacks, she saw how schools in Los Angeles could band together, share resources and distribute the work in ways that would help everyone.
In the spirit of coming together for mutual benefit, Catherine connected USC with UCLA to house Field Day Los Angeles in a larger venue. Working side-by-side to plan the event, both schools shaped it to serve their communities.
For next time, Catherine plans to seed the event with content that students want.
Something that could help add more value to the event is polling the attendees (maybe during the application form) to see what topics or issues they’d like to talk about, or pairing people up into more relevant groups for lunch. For example, it would have been interesting to pair up the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) student leaders from all the schools in one lunch table so they could talk about collaboration or discuss things they’re working on.
With 33 attendees, Field Day Montreal (organized by Campus Expert and former Intern kim-codes) was small enough to focus on one track for the entire day.
Student leaders opened up about their common problems: recruiting new members, the onboarding process for their organization, keeping in touch with members, and learning how to work as a team. With this agenda in mind, the discussion bloomed to offer solutions (including a poutine day for recruitment).
One interesting challenge Field Day Montreal posed was around language: how do you run a conference for student leaders in multiple languages? Perhaps offer slides in English and French, or ask for translation services from student leaders who are multilingual.
Speakers at Field Day in Mexico
For Fernanda, organizing Field Day “changed my life”—she saw ways to improve efficiency, use new communication channels, and bring together 35-50 different communities who previously operated independently. The different clubs shared how to work with universities, sponsors, and the media.
They are currently discussing where to host the next Field Day, and Juan would like to nurture communities outside of Mexico City to grow the ecosystem.
Campus Expert Teresa Luz Miller held Field Day NYC at the offices of Major League Hacking (dubbed “MLHQ”) in Manhattan.
The NYC Field Day started with a kickoff icebreaker activity called “A Cold Wind Blows”, which is a sort of musical chairs game to help people get to know each other. The organizer structured the unconference by asking every attendee to make three post-it notes of what they needed help with—an idea she learned from Maintainerati, the unconference for open source maintainers—and then clustered related ideas together into a schedule. Each small breakout group appointed a facilitator to capture the conversation on the whiteboard, which aided in comprehension and collaboration.
GitHub Field Day has connected students from as far as London and the Midlands in the UK to Mexico City. We would love for you to join us at the next Field Day near you!