How companies are investing in open source
There is a huge open source community of code and developers to work with and draw inspiration from on GitHub. To build better developer tools, we need a direct line to it.
In 2022, some of the largest open source projects on GitHub were owned, led, or maintained by companies.
How those projects are growing reveals broader changes in how developers—and organizations—are building software.
Big tech is helping build big communities
Code editors, frameworks, and programming languages are just some of the company-led open source projects attracting the most contributors on GitHub.
From microsoft/vscode to tensorflow/tensorflow, most of these projects have made lists in previous Octoverse reports. But their success speaks to the impact commercially backed OSS projects can and do have in the broader open source ecosystem.
*To determine who was a company employee and who was not, we identified contributors that belonged to an organization and contributors that did not belong to an organization.
Maintainers are working harder than ever
Notably, most contributions from developers outside an organization are comments, questions, issues, and reviewed pull requests .
In short, developers inside an organization are still contributing code to their company’s projects at a much higher rate than external contributors.
On GitHub, the companies behind the most successful commercially backed open source projects have their salaried developers regularly contribute to these projects.
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 an open source license.
What’s in a contribution?
In this report, contributions are defined as any activity that generates content on GitHub and includes comments on a commit, issue, or a pull request as well as team discussions, gists, issues, pushes, and reviewed pull requests.
We are leveraging the open source community and everything it has to offer. Embracing open source has already reshaped how we think about the modern car.
Open source helps companies increase project engagement and visibility
There is a high degree of community engagement from external contributors among the most popular commercially backed open source projects on GitHub—and that has material benefits for organizations.
These include attracting more talented developers to work on and improve a project (and potentially get hired), increasing awareness and usage of a project and technology, project community development, and building trust within the wider developer community.
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