Nov 15, 2019 newsletter

Are we in a golden age of software development?

GitHub State of the Octoverse

GitHub released its State of the Octoverse report that analyzes code repositories and developer activity across its platform.

Overall, the software development community saw rapid and unprecedented growth over the last year—more developers, more code, and more tools.

GitHub’s report reveals a few key trends that indicate we could be in a golden age of software development.

First, software development is booming.

GitHub welcomed more than 10 million new developers to its community and is now home to over 40 million users.

Coding activity is skyrocketing, too. In the last year, developers created 44 million new repositories and merged more than 87 million pull requests. More developers are writing more code.

Second, software development is powered by an increasingly rich ecosystem of tools.

Despite trade laws, sanctions, regulations, and security concerns, software development is more reliant than ever on third-party packages and libraries.

The average repository contains 203 package dependencies.

To combat growing security issues stemming from dependencies, GitHub is simplifying developer workflows to update code. Since its acquisition in May, Dependabot automated more than 209,000 dependency fixes through pull requests that were later merged into GitHub repositories.

Third, software development is being transformed by an evolving landscape of powerful languages.

For the first time ever, Python outranked Java to become the second most popular language. Driven by a surging interest in data science, Python continues its march toward dominance across the development stack.

A new breed of languages are taking development by storm, too.

Dart, a language built by Google for cross-platform app development, grew 532% over the past year, driven in part by the rising popularity of Flutter, Google’s UI toolkit. Rust, another language that is widely loved by developers, grew 235% and will likely see similarly rapid growth in the future. TypeScript, Microsoft’s superset of JavaScript that helps developers avoid certain bugs, grew 161% over the last year.

Today, software developers work in a dynamic ecosystem of languages.

Overall, GitHub’s State of the Octoverse reveals how rapidly the world of software development is changing each year. The explosive growth of developer communities, open source code, advanced languages, and the GitHub platform points to a bright future for developer-led innovation around the world.

GitHub goes mobile in its bid to be the center of the (developer) universe

GitHub for mobile

GitHub’s recent mobile ambitions reveal the company’s plans to accelerate its growing impact on the entire development life cycle.

GitHub announced the availability of GitHub for mobile, its new app that brings the GitHub platform to mobile devices.

Today, much of software development happens away from desktops. Nat Friedman, GitHub’s CEO, predicts that within 5 years, more than half of interactions on GitHub will happen on mobile.

A new mobile app plants GitHub firmly at the center of the developer world by helping it reach developers on every device and every platform.

Most importantly, GitHub's mobile app helps it grow beyond its role as a code hosting service and into a robust hub for all software development activity.

Engineering teams increasingly depend on GitHub to collaborate, assign tasks, triage code, and manage notifications. GitHub is quickly becoming a management tool that connects teams and orchestrates entire development workflows.

With a mobile presence, GitHub ensures that most development workflows continue to pass through its platform, regardless of what device developers use. By making its platform more helpful in more places, GitHub can effectively position itself at the center of the software development world.

How AI strengthens Microsoft’s grip on the software supply chain

Microsoft IntelliCode

As Microsoft pushes GitHub to the center of the software development world, it’s also pushing its developer tools to be better integrated with the Microsoft developer ecosystem.

Microsoft boosted IntelliCode, its AI coding assistant for Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code, to provide better and more powerful code suggestions. Trained on 14,000 public GitHub repositories, IntelliCode helps developers write less repetitive code with its intelligent code recommendations. IntelliCode’s new features focus on C#, C++, and TypeScript.

In the latest update, IntelliCode is able to suggest entire lines of code, including arguments you want to pass into recommended functions.

Moreover, IntelliCode now learns as you type to offer refactoring suggestions. IntelliCode can even save those refactoring suggestions and automatically open a pull request for you to review through GitHub.

TypeScript, Visual Studio Code, and GitHub are all important developer tools built by Microsoft that operate at different points in the software development life cycle.

IntelliCode links them together more deeply by providing developers with value through automation and artificial intelligence.

If you are a TypeScript developer, you will be more likely to use Visual Studio Code so that you can code smarter with IntelliCode. As an IntelliCode user, you are likely to integrate with GitHub to manage automated pull requests.

Developers are slowly pulled deeper into Microsoft's ecosystem.

Microsoft controls the entire development stack, from the code to the code editors to the code repositories. Microsoft then strengthens the relationship between its developer tools with services like IntelliCode that are most valuable when your entire stack uses Microsoft products.

Small bytes

  • DEV, an open source online developer community, raised $11.5M in a fresh round of funding. With the DEV platform, developers are shaping the next generation of online forums [DEV]
  • JetBrains released Grazie, a spelling and grammar checker for its IntelliJ IDE. Grazie will help with natural language processing tasks that are crucial to software development, like writing comments or commit messages [SD TIMES]
  • Alpaca, an API-first brokerage platform, raised $6M in funding. Through its API that handles banking and regulatory complexities, Alpaca hopes to help any developer build powerful fintech apps [TECHCRUNCH]
  • GitHub Packages and GitHub Actions are now generally available. With its new services, GitHub hopes to incorporate critical developer workflows into its main platform [ZDNET]
  • Mirantis acquired the Docker Enterprise business and team. Docker also raised $35M to expand Docker Desktop and Docker Hub. As a creator of open source software, Docker became incredibly popular with developers, but has struggled to find a viable business model [DOCKER]
  • GitHub launched its Arctic Code Vault to keep open source software safe for the next 1,000 years. The software vault will be built in Norway and will sit next to the seed vault, built to preserve the world's plants and agriculture [VENTUREBEAT]


  • Conrad helps you track conferences and meetups on your terminal [CONRAD]
  • Paged.js is an open-source library to paginate content in the browser [PAGED.JS]
  • Glean is an extension provides refactoring tools for your React codebase [GLEAN]
  • Runkod provides decentralized hosting platform and management tools for modern javascript applications and static web publishing [RUNKOD]
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