The 2020 State of the
2020 has been a year of extraordinary change. Yet with 60M+ new repositories created this past year, one thing has remained true — developers came together from all corners of the world to innovate, find connection, and solve problems.
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This year, the pandemic forced many of us to work remotely and more of our focus was shifted to childcare, schooling, personal health, and how to try to balance it all.
But as the global workplace shifted into its new reality, we also saw an increase in developer connection and camaraderie through open source. With this in mind, an important question to ask is how we make all that work sustainable.
Thanks to automation and collaboration, developers have been able to communicate more effectively and increase efficiency, carving out more time to do the work that matters most.
Let’s look back at the code and
communities built on GitHub this year...
Based on the data collection range of October 2019 - September 2020.
total developers on
of Fortune 50 companies
use GitHub Enterprise
new repositories created
in the last year
in the last year
// The regions that scaled
Geographical distribution of active users
Decrease of 2% from last year
Increase of 1.1% from last year
Increase of 0.1% from last year
Increase of 0.4% from last year
Increase of 0.3% from last year
No change since last year
// The languages that dominated
Top languages over the years
This year we did a deeper dive into the patterns that we see on GitHub.
// Explore each section of our report
// Part 1 of 3
between work and play
In 2020 we all had to rethink our working spaces and schedules, testing the boundaries between work and home—and we saw that line can be hard to draw.
Governmental responses to COVID-19 had a clear effect on working from home across all regions.
While developers have been putting in longer working hours, they’ve also spent more time on open source projects.
Percent increase in open source project creation per active user compared to previous year
Seven day rolling average
We saw a major spike in activity in March and April when the COVID-19 pandemic began to take shape.
Developer work dropped on the weekends, while open source activity jumped.
This could mean that open source is both a place to learn and create, and an important escape from work.
Average development window by day of week per user
Percentage of all contributions that are to open source repos overlaid
We measured time between first and last push to main branch to capture development time - which is higher this year vs last (bars).
created than last year
more contributions to
open source projects
faster pull request merge times in teams' most productive and collaborative weeks
It's unclear if developers are taking advantage of flexible work schedules,or stretching the same amount of work over longer periods of time. However in some cases, work volume increases.
In a time when everyone is forced to stay home, developers around the world have found connection and community through open source.
While many caution that technology can be tiring, these patterns show that open source may provide a creative outlet that’s noticeably different from the workplace.Explore work patterns across regions
Over the course of a year, we’ve seen GitHub grow globally in size and diversity. And it’s not just numbers: The kinds of projects and skills of contributors are expanding.
Top countries and regions percentage growth in contributors since last year
Timely Open Source for Good projects, like COVID-19, saw explosive growth and may present an exciting opportunity for new users to get engaged in open source communities.
Data analysts, scientists, students, teachers, and designers are joining GitHub, suggesting that collaborations on the platform will increasingly include more than just code.
Using GitHub as a platform for education creates long-term careers in software development and opens opportunities to impact lives around the world.
more active teachers
more active students
// Part 2 of 3
As communities see more activity, it's more important than ever to fight burnout. Early feature adoption gives developers space for connection and collaboration so everyone can focus on the work that matters most.
Launched in May of 2020, GitHub Discussions found early success during next.js’s beta test.
Discussions started in
the next.js repository
of active Discussions users
have contributed/ pushed code
With GitHub Discussions, the community can share context and expertise without burdening maintainers and key champions.
People value the ability to separate conversations from work, while still sharing a common platform.
Cumulative Discussions created over time in next.js
Discussions also increased retention of new community members.
New members were more likely to return if they participated in a Discussion than if they pushed a commit or created an issue, and Discussions are more sustainable for the community.
Retention rate based on newcomer's first contribution
First contribution must have been within 28 days of creating an account. Retained is defined as a contribution in second 28 day window.
Most of my work as an engineering manager has been teaching people how to scope work to smaller bits. So any time you have a big honking PR it's a nightmare to review—either too much discussion or none because no one can get their head around it.”
Open source communities also leveraged the value of automation.
Automation accelerates software delivery by helping teams automate their workflow, leaving more time to focus on the most critical work.
Open source projects that use GitHub Actions to automate their pull requests saw faster software delivery and better collaboration.
Learn how automation fuels developer experience and productivity
The patterns we learn about open source communication and automation can make enterprise teams more productive, too.
increase in the number of pull requests merged
decrease in time to merge
// Part 3 of 3
the world’s software
By incorporating automation into workflows, communities are making it easier and faster to identify and remediate vulnerabilities.
median transitive dependencies for npm followed by PHP (70), Ruby (68), and Python (19). All of which can become impacted by one security vulnerability.
chance of getting a security alert in the next year from an active repository with supported package ecosystems
Percent of active repositories that rely on open source
Most projects on GitHub rely on open source software. This analysis included public open source repositories with at least one contribution in each month between 10.1.2019 and 09.30.2020.
A vulnerability can wreak havoc on your work and cause large-scale security issues. However, most vulnerabilities are actually from mistakes not malicious attacks.
of vulnerabilities were
explicitly malicious but
triggered just 0.2% of alerts
of remaining vulnerabilities are the result of mistakes
By relying on open source when you can, your team benefits from all the fixes found and remediated by the community.
Time to remediate is an important component for all DevOps teams.
Vulnerabilities go undetected before being identified
for the community to code and release a fix after a vulnerability is identified
to alert the community on the availability of a security update
for users to apply the security update