GitHub Grows As Business and Open Source Establish Firm Ties
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 09 November 2022

Today sees the start of Universe2022, GitHub's global developer event which is now in its seventh year. With it comes the 10th annual Octoverse report which gives details of the latest state of open source software.

What a difference a decade makes. Turn the clock back to 2012 and the divide between Open Source and Proprietary software was huge and required a mind shift to bridge it. The transition to today's situation - where everything and all of us rely on Open Source software - has taken place over a short space of time and yes there has been a massive shift in culture and priorities. 

github universe22

We first reported on the State of the Octoverse in 2016. By that time the relationship between the tech giants such as Microsoft and Facebook was quietly well underway. Even so the reaction from most quarters to the fact that Microsoft was the organization with the most open source contributors was surprise - even shock - despite the fact that over the previous two years Microsoft had moved much of its code creation to GitHub, starting with TypeScript and continuing .NET core and more.

In 2017 Microsoft shut down CodePlex, its own code repository, migrating projects to GitHub and in 2018 CEO Satya Nadella announced plans to buy GitHub, raising concerns about the impact this would have on open source development. That year's State of the Octoverse report, before the acquisition had been finalized, showed GitHub to be expanding and that trend has continued. While it might be under Microsoft's ultimate control GitHub has preserved its brand and seems to be stronger than ever.

So what does today's State of the Octoverse 2022 report tell us?

github universe22 githubstats

Let's start with the stats regarding the GitHub developer community. There are 94 million developers on GitHub of whom more than 20 million are new users in 2022, representing a 27% year-on-year growth. The report compares this to the 2.8 million people on GItHub at the time of the first Octoverse report and comments: 

To put this into perspective, if GitHub were a country it would have a bigger population than the entire nation of Germany. 

Over 85 million new repositories were created in the past year, a 20% year-on-year growth.

The total number of all contributions to GitHub, including commits, pull requests/reviews, discussions and pushes now stands at over 3.5 billion. In 2022 227M pull requests were merged, 31M issues were closed, and 263M automated jobs were run on GitHub Actions every month. This reflects increased productivity. GitHub also reports increased security with over 71M vulnerable packages being upgraded in 2022 (more than 29M compared to 2021). 

Another interesting statistic is that only 20% of contributions on GitHub during 2022 were in public repositories while the vast majority of developers were working in private repositories, which the report notes:

shows a significant uptick in the total number of private repositories across Github since we started offering them to GitHub Free accounts in 2019. Moreover the number of contributions to private repositories rose almost 38% compared to 2021.

The report also has a lot to say about the relationship between companies and open source projects. Not only does it tell us that 90% of Fortune 100 companies use GitHub, it also reveals the extent to which they support open source projects both with financial help and by having their employees to work on them

The report notes that the increase in this support:

squares with a rise in open source policy offices (OSPO). By our estimation more than 30% of Fortune 100 companies now have OSPOs to coordinate strategies in open source and we predict this number will increase. 

This list of the top open source projects by contributor count reveals that 90% were company-backed in 2022:

github universe22 projects

while another table shows the extent to which most successful open source projects in 2022 had salaried developers working alongside external developers. 

github universe22 external

While the table shows very high proportions of external contributions, most are comments, questions, issues and reviewed pull requests and it is developers inside the organization who are contributing code. 

The report states:

This underscores the fact that companies have the most vibrant communities when they have their developers contribute as part of that community rather than just publishing code under and open source licence.

github universe22

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 November 2022 )