GitHub Universe 2017 - Collaboration and Communication
See how GitHub became a leader in version control; learn about the Discovery tab, and how they help you not only code better, but collaborate and communicate.
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OK, I’m not in San Francisco enjoying the Octocat, adoring the roof of Pier 70, or the giant Kraken courtesy of Kraken Git, but instead, I am at a viewing party in Berlin, in a packed room of the offices of online retailer Zalando.
It’s understandable, after all, as it nears its 10th birthday, GitHub now claims over 67,000,000 repositories, 100,000,000 PRs merged, and over 1,500,000,000 commits per year. GitHub has almost become the definition of version control. The company makes products that most developers like to use, has mostly a good reputation, and does an amazing job with marketing and branding.
With a solid core product, instead of adding more core features, GitHub took this Universe event to look at ways they plan to make developer life easier.
Utilizing the buzzword of 2017, "machine learning." GitHub rolled out a new Discover tab that now shows you projects based on your previous activity. Part of this approach is to encourage involvement with projects, but like discovery algorithms on social networks, I worry that this move will push developers into bubbles instead of increasing cross-collaboration.
Alongside (and complimenting) this change is a new explore tab that highlights projects grouped around themes and concepts. I’m unsure how the content is generated and when it changes, but it looks like a good starting point for those new to GitHub and Open Source.
For newcomers, GitHub currently helps 1,300,000 students learning to code and plans to help identify newer users to repository collaborators with badges, indicating that they might need to spend a little extra time and care with their contribution.
GitHub announced a plethora of enhancements to repositories around the themes of helping you improve your code, potentially ‘sherlocking’ the business models of dozens of 3rd party integrators.
This includes text analysis of your code structure to aid navigation, and (some undefined form of) code analysis to highlight changes for code review.
Connect and Communicate
In further moves that potentially takes aim at competitors/partners, GitHub announced a new "community forum." This could be more of a "meta forum" to handle questions about GitHub, or it could be a Stack Overflow competitor, I’m not sure right now. And possibly taking aim at Gitter (maybe Slack) is "Team Discussions," where teams can discuss their projects and paste code snippets into conversations that directly reference lines in files.
Finally, and maybe in an olive leaf gesture to all the companies whose business they disrupted, GitHub announced just how popular their app marketplace has been since its launch in May, and how they intend to keep growing that number.
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