GitHub Project Trends
Written by Janet Swift   
Tuesday, 13 February 2018

With 2018 underway, GitHub has been busy analysing contributor, visitor, and star activity from last year to discover which were the fastest growing software communities.

Introducing the data analysis on the GitHub blog, Thomas Elliott writes:

Last year, GitHub brought 24 million people from almost 200 countries together to code better and build bigger ... and the activity is picking up even more this year.

Explaining the methodology used to find trending projects, Elliot states:

We looked at three different types of activity. First, we identified the top 100 projects that had at least 2,000 contributors in 2016 and experienced the largest increase in contributors in 2017. We also identified the top 100 projects that received the largest increase in visits to the project's repo in 2017. Finally, we identified the top 100 projects that received the most new stars in 2017. Combining these lists, we categorized projects into broad communities and looked at the communities that were the most represented at the top of the lists. 

In case you aren't familiar with the use of stars on Github, they reflect popularity both directly as a rating and in their use to signal repos devs are interested in.




Three trends were highlighted as a result of this analysis

  • A rally in cross-platform development
    Some of the projects that have experienced the largest growth in activity have been focused on cross-platform or web development. For example, Angular/angular-cli had 2.2 times more contributors in 2017 than in 2016. Developers contributed more, visited more often, and starred projects related to AngularFacebook/React, and Electron.

  • Deep learning experiences a boom
    Across multiple industries, artificial intelligence is solving a host of complex and interesting problems. Contributions and visits have increased to projects such as Keras and Mozilla/DeepSpeech also TensorFlow had 2.2 times more visits in 2017 than in 2016, while TensorFlow models had 5.5 times more visits!

  • New skills
    More people than ever are learning new coding skills. Numerous projects have been starred, many created in 2017, related to learning to code, getting coding jobs, and coding best practices. For example, Chalarangelo/30-seconds-of-code and norvig/pytudes provide code examples in Javascript and Python respectively, to help increase fluency in these languages.
Back in 2016 we were surprised to discover, from the GitHub State of the Octoverse report that Microsoft was the organization with the most open source contributors. This remained the case in 2017 according to an analysis from Felipe Hoffa. However, in terms of stars it was well outshone by Google.

Hoffa reports:


  • Microsoft appears to have ~1,300 employees actively pushing code to 825 top repositories on GitHub.

  • Google displays ~900 employees active on GitHub, who are pushing code to ~1,100 top repositories.

  • Not all projects are equal: While Googlers are contributing code to 25% more repositories than Microsoft, these repositories have collected way more stars (530,000 vs 260,000). 

The data behind this chart is openly available and reveals that the most starred project by a long margin is Tensorflow, followed by Facebook/React. 


Microsoft's VSCode repo comes third in the list and it outdoes the two above it in terms of githubers from the domain in question. Top in this respect from this list of rgw ten most starred repos is JetBrains/kotlin which has 30 contributors from JetBrains itself. 





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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 February 2018 )