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November 16, 2021updated 19 Nov 2021 6:26am

GitHub’s global growth sees it reach developers in emerging markets

More than 73 million developers across the globe are now using the code-sharing platform.

By Afiq Fitri

The global GitHub community continues to grow rapidly in size and geographical diversity of users, according to data in the code-sharing platform’s annual ‘State of the Octoverse Report’ which detailed trends relating to code development and documentation processes. Reaching new territories is the aim for GitHub under the stewardship of new CEO Thomas Dohmke, who started in his role on Monday.

The study was conducted by analysing the different ways active users use and interact with the platform, based on the amount of time spent and categories into which they could be classified.

The total number of developers on GitHub now stands at more than 73 million, with more than 16 million users added in 2021 alone. According to figures released in last year’s Octoverse report, this number will increase to 100 million by 2025. The number of first-time contributors increased significantly in the last year to more than 3 million, the highest number of new contributions since 2015.

One of the key findings from this year’s Octoverse report is the continuing growth in geographical diversity of active users, with almost 60% of active users of the platform distributed across regions beyond North America. These countries include Indonesia, Brazil, India, Russia, Japan, and China, Github says.

In terms of open source software use, active users based in China and India are also leading the way which might be attributed to strong investment in domestic tech talent in both countries. Tech Monitor has previously reported on India’s growing AI talent pool, with GitHub proving a key resource for these developers.

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This reflects a concerted efforted by the company to remove geographical barriers to adoption. Earlier this year, the company obtained a sanctions license from the US government to allow developers and contributors from Iran to access its full suite of services. According to a statement on its website, GitHub is also planning similar moves to remove barriers to potential users in Crimea and Syria. 

All this will be supervised by new CEO Dohmke, previously the organisation's chief product officer, who succeeded Nat Friedman this week. Friedman, who will now take up the role of chairman emeritus at the Microsoft-owned platform, was a developer himself, something which he says helped him connect with the GitHub community. Dohmke is also a coder by background, and told TechCrunch he isn't planning any changes to this ethos.

"I think we have proven over the last few years that we will stay independent [from Microsoft], that we will stay cloud-neutral and that we do the right thing for the developers and that we put the developers first," Dohmke said.

"Hopefully, they see this transition as a continuation of the tradition of GitHub CEOs being developers. The previous CEOs, we are all developers, Nat was a developer, I’m a developer. I hope everybody’s excited about where we will go as a company and how we will innovate and make developers more productive.”

Home page image by Sundry Photography/iStock

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