Today, open source software supports almost everything: as many as 97% of applications are using open source code and 90% of companies are applying or using it in some way.
GitHub alone had 413 million open-source software (OSS) contributions in 2022.
“Open source software is the foundation of 99% of the world’s software,” said Martin Woodward, VP of Developer Relations at GitHub. “There are a number of benefits to open source, from providing an environment to work quickly and flexibly, to enabling collaboration among developers around the world. No single person or team can make the progress we can all make together.”
So far this week GitHub has its new Octoverse 2022 reporthighlighting many key statistics, insights and evolutions in the open source community.
“As home to all developers, we have the ability and responsibility to showcase how the open source ecosystem is evolving and its impact on developers, communities, organizations and businesses around the world,” said Woodward.
More open source engagement, support
The annual report was first released 10 years ago to celebrate 2.8 million people on GitHub; back then, companies only used OSS to run web servers, and Kubernetes and Docker were yet to be released.
Utilities? There are over 94 million developers on GitHub and 90% of Fortune 100 companies use the platform.
The annual report analyzes data from millions of developers and repositories to explore open source software and determine the key trends shaping software development, Woodward explains. This year’s report, which focuses on the OSS-business relationship, is based on anonymized user and product data extracted from GitHub between October 1, 2021 and September 30, 2022.
However, one of the most popular projects on GitHub is: house assistant/core (a home automation project), which has seen significant growth over the past year. There was also a notable increase in the number of contributors to the access management project key sheath/key sheathcommonly used to enable single sign-on, social media account login, and two-factor authentication in mobile and desktop applications.
Organizations increasingly involved
Another important insight from the report: organizations are increasingly recognizing how critical OSS is – and taking an active interest in it.
GitHub reports that more companies are creating new OSS communities and that 30% of Fortune 100 companies have open source program offices (OSPO) to coordinate OSS strategies. Also, half of the first GitHub contributors work on commercially supported projects.
“More and more companies are participating in open source projects,” Woodward says.
Some of the largest and most popular open source projects on GitHub are commercially supported, he emphasized. These companies in turn create new OSS communities, indicating their broader impact on the open source ecosystem.
“So that was super interesting and something we’ll be seeing more of,” Woodward said.
Ashley Wolf, who leads the OSPO on GitHub, also noted that “when more companies can adopt OSPOs, more people can use and support open source. And that’s a benefit for everyone.”
Billions of developers, contributions, projects
The report noted continued, significant growth across the board:
- GitHub has 94 million developers and over 85.7 million new repositories.
- There are a total of over 3.5 billion contributions to all projects on GitHub.
- 20.5 million new developers joined GitHub in 2022, with some of the biggest increases coming from India, China and Brazil. On the other hand, the two places where developer communities failed to grow in 2022 were Antarctica (however, there are still nearly 20 developers, the company reports) and Norfolk Island (an Australian island in the South Pacific with a population around 1750).
- By 2022, 85 million new projects worldwide will be started in GitHub.
- 263 million automated tasks run on GitHub Actions every month, with over 41 million build minutes per day.
Speaking about this continued adoption and use, Woodward said, “We take the house of open source seriously.”
This ranges from improving productivity with Copilot and Codespaces to keeping software secure with Dependabot and scanning codes, he said.
“Essentially, we’re trying to expand who can become a developer — regardless of where they live, what their background is, or what their skills are,” Woodward says. “Continued growth on the GitHub platform is a testament to that.”
Meanwhile, there has been an increase in infrastructure-as-code (IaC), the practice of managing and provisioning computer data centers via machine-readable definition files (rather than physical hardware configuration or interactive configuration tools).
“After nearly 30 years of Java, you might expect the language to show some signs of wear and tear,” GitHub’s ReadME Project said in the report. “But nothing is less true.”
AI that enables open source developers
Not surprisingly, artificial intelligence (AI) is speeding up and improving coding developer experience, reports GitHub. From developers surveyed about their experiences with GitHub Copilot (a cloud-based AI tool developed with GitHub and OpenAI):
- 88% said they were more productive
- 59% were less frustrated with coding
- 88% reported faster completion
- 96% were faster with repetitive tasks
- 77% spent less time searching
- 87% spent less mental effort on repetitive tasks
Securing the supply chain, supporting citizen developers
Looking ahead, securing the supply chain is critical, says GitHub. The IBM 2022 Cost of a data breach report revealed that nearly a fifth of organizations were breached as a result of compromise in the software supply chain.
Expect greater commitment from businesses, developers and governments to securing OSS, GitHub says. The company also expects more advances in security alert tools with threat detection capabilities, as well as a focus on building more secure code from scratch. There will undoubtedly also be additional policy-making around OSS.
Equally important, the OSS community becomes aware that the OSS contributions from which they benefit financially are the result of the efforts of citizen developers.
While enterprises provide financial support to open source foundations and sponsor conferences, financial support does not always find its way to developers in the trenches, he wrote. Jessica LordGitHub Sponsors product lead.
“The open source ecosystem is still trying to secure supply chains — and open source sustainability is far from resolved,” she wrote.
To address this issue, GitHub launched GitHub Sponsors in 2019 to provide users with a direct way to financially support OSS administrators and projects. Also, it is Sponsors for companies program, which is currently in beta, makes it easier for companies to give back at scale.
These and other developments are promising, as “critical parts of the open source infrastructure are maintained by a few underpaid, overworked individuals who often do it for free,” said Wolfgang Gehring, FOSS ambassador at the Mercedes-Benz Tech Institute. “And that’s not right.”
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