Justin Duke

How Big Tech uses GitHub

PayPal recently released Kraken, an open source Node.js framework, on GitHub, which got me thinking about the various ways different large technology companies (particularly those which we don’t really associate with OSS) use GitHub and engage in Open Source.

Twenty minutes and a quick Python script later, I produced the following table, a snapshot of how popular these companies are on the only network that matters to developers. You can find the script online if you’d like to see how its done (fair warning: the code is gross.)

Company Repositories Forks Stars Language
google 85 1336 12250 C
adobe 32 3862 19231 C++
twitter 103 6057 43780 C++
paypal 114 1046 1868 None
aws 18 1693 6221 Java
yahoo 143 1129 4805 JavaScript
linkedin 52 1501 7932 Java
facebook 102 15311 64907 C++
dropbox 19 178 1329 PHP
mozilla 687 11500 44232 C++
hubspot 63 1155 16819 Ruby

A few notes:

  • Mozilla leads the pack in terms of number of repositories, which makes sense given that everything they do is on GitHub (even their home page!)
  • Facebook, however, leads the pack in terms of engagement: more users fork and star their repositories than any other company. Efforts like Huxley and Phabricator are incredibly popular.

It should be noted that this is a pretty naive look at the overall picture: for instance, Google’s Dart repositories are held in a completely different organization. Still, it gives a birds-eye view of the devotion each company has for OSS (or, more cynically: the devotion each company has for attracting new developers.)

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