Google might actually be open source software’s best friend right now

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Tech giants are now more committed to open source software than ever, with “big tech” contributions to GitHub quadrupling from six years ago, according to new research.

A report from Aiven found that Google appears to be the top driver of industry engagement with open source, with monthly engagements up 21% year-over-year in July 2022.

The research suggests that Google has overtaken Microsoft in its number of active GitHub contributors for the first time in about three years, with 4,643 contributors compared to Microsoft’s 4,394, and furthermore, Google is expected to overtake Microsoft in its number of monthly commits for the first time. ever in the next six months.

open-source google

Despite incredible growth, Amazon still lags behind Google; which uses C++, Java, and C. Amazon uses the equally supportive Python, Java, and TypeScript languages. Microsoft – a longtime leader in the open source industry – is shifting more towards its own Powershell and C# programming languages, with more than a third of its open source software coders choosing one of these two.

Overall, the number of active contributors from Amazon, Microsoft, and Google to GitHub has grown from 2,654 in May 2016 to 10,549 in the same period of 2022.

Aiven co-founder Heikki Nousiainen says the company’s research “shows that hyperscalers bring more resources to open source,” which he says is “great news.”

He continues, “As a community, open source software needs this kind of commitment from big tech to ensure important projects are maintained and vulnerabilities like Log4Shell don’t happen again. More than that, it’s a better way to write clean, transparent, and secure code.

Nousiainen thinks that from his company’s research, we can infer a positive outlook for open source software. The continued commitment to innovation should “benefit us all”, with big companies leading the way for small companies.

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