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India to have the world's most developers on GitHub by 2027

Report also captures rapid growth in Python use and an explosion in AI projects.

India will overtake the United States as the largest developer community in the world on the coding platform GitHub by 2027 according to a newly released report that captures geographical and coding trends.

The Octoverse report, sponsored by GitHub, says India’s developer community is growing so rapidly that after bumping China off the second spot in 2022, it is on track to take first place from the US. 

It comes as GitHub reported that it now has over 100 million developers who made a total of 4.2 billion contributions to private projects and 301 million contributions to open source projects across the platform in 2023.

Other countries showing a sharp rise in the number of developers on GitHub included Nigeria, which posted a 40% rise in contributors.

Credit: Octoverse report, 2023.

AI and open source transforms developer experience

 It’s not just the global community that is increasing on GitHub.

The use of AI and the number of open source projects on the platform is also skyrocketing – a trend that has also driven a rise in the use of Python.

Some 92% of developers use or experiment with AI tools, and open source generative AI projects entered the top 10 most popular open source projects by contributor count in 2023 – with many being built by individual contributors, the report found. (The report cites langchain-ai/langchain and AUTOMATIC1111/stable-diffusion-webui as rising up to the top projects by contributor count on GitHub, with more developers building LLM applications with pre-trained AI models and customizing AI apps to user needs.)

See also: Is Nigeria an overlooked IT outsourcing gold mine?

This year also saw the largest number of first-time open source contributors, with commercially-backed projects capturing the largest share of first-time contributors and overall contributions. 

The report asserts that open source projects are essential for driving innovation, with many owned by individual developers and communities contributing to the most exciting developments. 

 TypeScript overtook Java for the first time this year as the third most popular language across OSS projects on GitHub, whilst JavaScript remained the most popular language; holding on to the top spot for a decade.  

This unexpected 37% growth in the TypeScript user base is an indicator that programming languages aren’t just confined to the realm of traditional software development anymore.

And, with rising security concerns surrounding coding languages such as C, developers are turning towards programming languages that are perceived as safer, like Rust, which was named the most admired language eight years running in the 2023 Stack Overflow developer survey.

(Rust grew 40% year-on-year). 

How developers are using GitHub in 2023 

Greater activity in private repositories suggests the value of "inner source" practices and culture within organisations and shows how collaboration can be beneficial in proprietary code as much as open source. 

Additionally, developers have shown a marked preference for automating tasks and pipelines, with 20 million GitHub Actions minutes a day being used in public projects, the report found.  

As with the interest in safer coding language, more developers are using tools on GitHub to address vulnerabilities in their code and at the company's annual conference this week.

See also: AI, open source and data - the shape of things to come