GitHub’s annual Octoverse report is here

State of the Octoverse 2019: Python outranks Java for the first time

Maika Möbus
programming languages
© Shutterstock / nikkytok

It’s that time of the year again! GitHub released the newest edition of its annual State of the Octoverse report. The report shows which programming languages and projects are most popular on GitHub and which are trending. Let’s see who this year’s winners are.

GitHub has published its State of the Octoverse 2019 report to find out which programming languages are most widely used, which are on the rise, and who their contributors are. GitHub noted there has been a continuous increase in open source contributors and contributions from all over the world—even Antarctica!

The data for this year’s report was collected from October 1, 2018, to September 30, 2019.

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Top programming languages

Which programming language was the most popular over the last year? GitHub checked up on the top ten primary languages. The language ranking is based on the number of contributors to repositories tagged with the respective primary language.

For the first time, Python came in second and outranked Java. But neither of these two managed to claim the throne JavaScript has been defending for years.

GitHub’s graphic shows how JavaScript, Python, Java and its seven fellow competitors have been doing since 2014. While PHP has been keeping its steady pace on 4th place for five years in a row, the lower ranks are showing some movement:

Source: GitHub

Trending programming languages

Dart didn’t make it into the top ten languages, but it did jump to number one of the fastest growing languages with a 532% increase in contributors. The statically typed language Rust (235%) claims second place, while HCL (HashiCorp Configuration Language) comes in third with a 213% increase. Other trending languages include Kotlin, Go and TypeScript:

Source: GitHub

Top and trending open source projects

The open source projects created during the last year comprise 30% of all open source projects on GitHub. In the State of the Octoverse 2019, GitHub ranked them by popularity based on their number of contributors.

Microsoft’s free source code editor VS Code wins this round with 19,100 contributors. Second place goes to Microsoft as well, with 14,000 contributors to Azure Docs. Google’s UI development kit Flutter has 13,000 contributors and comes in third. Other top projects include TensorFlow and Kubernetes:

Source: GitHub

The trending open source projects were ranked as well, depending on their growth in contributors over the past year.

First place goes to Microsoft again, this time with their cross-platform framework ASP.NET Core. Its contributor numbers increased by 346%. Flutter is the runner-up, as its numbers grew by 279%, and the Azure DevOps documentation for Microsoft is on third place (264%).

Open source is becoming more global

The Octoverse report is not only about the projects on GitHub, but also about their contributors.

Over 40 million developers—of which ten million joined during the last year—and over 2.9 million organizations were using GitHub. On average, each open source project had contributors from 41 different countries and regions. In the reviewed time frame, 80% of GitHub developers were from countries and regions outside the US—the top three being China, India and Germany.

Have a look at the top ten contributing countries outside the US:

Source: GitHub

This finding is in line with the steady increase of developers outside the US that has been observed since 2014. In the latest Octoverse report, especially Asian and African countries are showing a strong increase in open source contributions. Overall, growth was highest in Nigeria (59%), Iran (44%), Kenya (44%) and Indonesia (42%).

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The community’s connections

GitHub decided to dig deeper into their data to show how deeply the community is connected. For this, they used the example of TensorFlow.

The machine learning library is one of the most popular projects on GitHub, and over 46,000 dependent repositories rely on it. Over the past year, 25,000 community contributors have contributed to TensorFlow dependencies, 9,900 developers have contributed to TensorFlow via pull requests, opening issues, etc., and 2,200 developers have made direct commit contributions to TensorFlow.

GitHub announced the State of the Octoverse 2019 report in a blog post and published the report online.

Maika Möbus
Maika Möbus has been an editor for Software & Support Media since January 2019. She studied Sociology at Goethe University Frankfurt and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

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