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Hey there. In today's newsletter:

  • Get an exclusive first look at Software's Election Day analysis.
  • Discover insights from GitHub Universe, including what happens in the 1 hour and 36 minutes it takes to merge a pull request.
  • Learn why the Orbit Model is the best framework for building developer communities.

US election reduced developer productivity

developer happiness

US Election Week negatively impacted developer activity in the US, decreasing developer code time. In the most highly contested battleground states, developers saw an even larger decline in coding activity.

National metrics show a decrease in hours coded: Developers who worked during election week coded far less than normal. Active code time—defined as the time spent actively writing and editing code in your editor or IDE—fell 15.8% compared to prior periods.

Battleground states were more volatile: In the key battleground states, where the voting margin between Biden and Trump was within 1.5% (Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin), active code time per developer was 16.8% lower than a typical Tuesday.

The true cost of elections: Did the stress of the election—or perhaps the distraction of the local news coverage—impact productivity in battleground states? From our analysis:

"Teams do not work in bubbles insulated from the world around them. Context matters for development teams and knowledge workers. Decoding burnout, stress, and frustration requires a holistic view of your team’s challenges."


GitHub universe shows how development is changing, quickly

low code

GitHub released State of the Octoverse, a yearly review of developer activity on GitHub.

Automation increases speed: According to the report, open source repositories that use Actions to automate pull requests see time to merge decrease by 18%. And the number of pull requests merged increases by 34% when using Actions.

Small pull requests drive productivity: Throughout 2020, developers kept pull requests at the same size or smaller and are merging pull requests between two and seven and a half hours faster than normal. For open source projects, every week since March has seen a lower time to merge compared to the same time last year.

Benchmarks from enterprise companies reveal that the average time between opening and merging a pull request is 1 hour and 36 minutes. Most of that time is spent waiting; developers wait 54 minutes on average before the first review. Once a pull request is reviewed, it usually takes just 12 minutes to then merge it.

Development is changing: Developers are working longer days, with more breaks. Push windows—how early and late code is pushed to a repository—are shifting earlier into the morning and later into the night. Developers are also contributing more to open source—20% to 40% more year over year. It's likely we are only just beginning to quantify the aftershocks of the past year and its future impact on the world of software development.


Orbit aims to change how we build developer communities


Orbit, a developer community management platform, raised $4m in funding from Andreessen Horowitz. Started in 2019, Orbit is now used by over 140 companies, including popular developer tools like Postman, CircleCI, Apollo GraphQL, and Nuxtjs.

How it works: Orbit helps open source projects and other developer tools build engaged communities with a unified view of community activity. Orbit is based on the Orbit model, a framework for community engagement that describes each community members love (how active they are) and reach (how much influence they have). Community managers can then use that information to engage with the right users at the right time.

Why it matters: According to Orbit:

"Developers have never been more important to the future of business and society, and that shift has led to a surge in new tools and open source tech to fill out their toolboxes for coding, testing, and deploying products. It’s also led to an emphasis on community like never before."

Orbit believes that “software isn’t sold — it’s adopted.” Today, more than ever, developers are key decision makers when it comes to choosing what tools companies adopt.


Tailwind adoption accelerates

The State of CSS, a survey of web developers, recently revealed the accelerating adoption of Tailwind over Bootstrap.

Tailwind keeps rising: Tailwind, a utility-first CSS framework, notched the highest satisfaction of any framework, at 87%. Interest in Tailwind grew considerably, jumping from 50% of respondents in 2019 to 62% in 2020 who were interested in learning more about it. Usage nearly doubled, from 18% to 33% in the last year.  

Bootstrap finds love, but also enemies: Roughly 45% of respondents have used Bootstrap but say they would never use it again. While Bootstrap commands a loyal following—41% say they will continue to use it for future projects—it faces steep competition from the community’s honeymoon with Tailwind.


Jeli wants to make incident responses less painful

Jeli announced and launched its new dedicated incident analysis platform. Jeli works by pulling together information and providing clear workflows for teams to understand incidents, respond quickly, and begin more thorough postmortems.

Hidden coordination costs: Teams responding to incidents need to communicate quickly across teams and coordinate their responses. That friction makes it difficult to share context with other teams and understand the root cause of incidents. By pulling together action items, proposed fixes, and ongoing discussions about an incident, Jeli centralizes and shares that context.


Fylamynt orchestrates your cloud services with visual workflows

Fylamynt, an up-and-coming cloud automation platform, announced a new round of funding. Fylamynt lets developers visually build workflows with a drag-and-drop interface. Those workflows help connect different parts of the cloud stack to build, run, and analyze your deployments.

No code or code: Fylamynt operates like an orchestration layer on top of your existing automation tools, like Terraform and Ansible, while offering easy integrations with CloudOps services, like Datadog, PagerDuty, Splunk, and more.

Most notably, Fylamynt lets users switch between drag-and-drop interface and code, without loss of information. Developers can tweak any workflow-as-code when they need more granular control.


Trending developer tools

Meli — open source platform for deploying static sites and frontend applications

Codebooks — beautiful project documentation without the hassle of hosting — simple way to access various statistics in a GIT repository

pointNG — privacy-friendly location detection developer tool

GitHub Profile Generator — generate a GitHub profile README easily with the latest add-ons like visitors count, GitHub stats, etc. using minimal UI

Devbook - search engine made just for developers. A single input that allows you to search in StackOverflow, documentation, code, infrastructure, and 3rd-party tools that you and your team are using

sops — editor of encrypted files that supports YAML, JSON, ENV, INI and BINARY formats and encrypts with AWS KMS, GCP KMS, Azure Key Vault and PGP