GitHub: Python and TypeScript gain popularity among programming languages

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GitHub released its annual Octoverse report today to reveal trends found in one of the largest developer communities on the planet such as a spike in open source project activity following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. GitHub is now used by 56 million developers worldwide, up from 44 million in 2019 and 31 million in 2018.

Above: GitHub programming languages by popularity

JavaScript continues to be the most popular programming language on GitHub, while Python is now the second most popular programming language used on GitHub followed by Java and the fast-growing TypeScript community. Maintained by GitHub owner Microsoft, TypeScript has climbed from the 7th most popular programming language in 2018 and 2019 to 4th overall this year. PHP and Ruby, languages that ranked among the most popular in five years ago continued to decline in popularity.

Among other highlights:

– Nigeria continues to rank highest among strong contribution to open source projects, followed by Hong Kong, Saudi, Arabia, and Bangladesh. The United States contribution to projects and number of active users remains higher than any other region of the world but U.S. contributions to projects dropped to 22.7% this year. The 2019 Octoverse found that 80% of repository contributions come from outside the United States.

Above: Active users by region

– Open source project creation jumped up to 40% year over year

– Analysis finds that open source project contributions peak on holidays and weekends while enterprise developers are most likely to push code and project changes on weekdays

– COVID-19 led to a noticeable spike in contribution to open source projects

Above: Year over year change in rate of open source project creation, seven day rolling average

The report also attempted to characterize the distinction between the way large communities operate on GitHub such as contributors to the open source TensorFlow machine learning framework.

“There is a clear pattern of typical behavior in the TensorFlow community: Most new members comment on issues (50% to 75%), some create issues (25% to 30%), and a few review pull requests (~5%),” the report reads. “In other communities, new members push code more often than tenured ones, but in TensorFlow, it’s almost nonexistent, and even veterans don’t push often. Here, the primary mode of interaction is issues.”

The number of people who identify as developers is down from 60% in 2016 to 54% in 2020. In addition to developers, analysis found that people who identify as data analytics and scientists or managers were found to participate in projects like TensorFlow. Education is also a growing part of the GitHub community following the launch of GitHub Classroom and is now the second largest group of users on GitHub behind developers.

GitHub was founded in 2008 and the Octoverse report was established in 2014. The Octoverse report was released this week ahead of GitHub Universe annual conference.

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