GitHub, Inc.
Type of site
Git repository hosting service
Available in English
Founded February 8, 2008 (2008-02-08)
Headquarters San Francisco, California, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Founder(s) Tom Preston-Werner
Chris Wanstrath
PJ Hyett
CEO Chris Wanstrath
Key people PJ Hyett (COO)
Industry Software
Employees 598[1]
Slogan(s) "Build software better, together.", "Where software is built"
Alexa rank Decrease 57 (November 2016)[2]
Registration Optional (required for creating and joining projects)
Users 14 million (April 2016)
Launched 10 April 2008 (2008-04-10)
Current status Active
Written in Ruby

GitHub is a web-based Git repository hosting service. It offers all of the distributed version control and source code management (SCM) functionality of Git as well as adding its own features. It provides access control and several collaboration features such as bug tracking, feature requests, task management, and wikis for every project.[3]

GitHub offers both plans for private repositories, and free accounts[4] which are commonly used to host open-source software projects.[5] As of April 2016, GitHub reports having more than 14 million users and more than 35 million repositories,[6] making it the largest host of source code in the world.[7]

The trademark mascot of GitHub is Octocat, an anthropomorphized cat with cephalopod limbs.[8]



Development of the GitHub platform began on 1 October 2007.[9][10] The site was launched in April 2008 by Tom Preston-Werner, Chris Wanstrath, and PJ Hyett after it had been made available for a few months prior as a beta release.[11]

Projects on GitHub can be accessed and manipulated using the standard Git command-line interface and all of the standard Git commands work with it. GitHub also allows registered and non-registered users to browse public repositories on the site. Multiple desktop clients and Git plugins have also been created by GitHub and other third parties that integrate with the platform.

The site provides social networking-like functions such as feeds, followers, wikis (using wiki software called Gollum) and a social network graph to display how developers work on their versions ("forks") of a repository and what fork (and branch within that fork) is newest.

A user must create an account in order to contribute content to the site, but public repositories can be browsed and downloaded by anyone. With a registered user account, users are able to discuss, manage, create repositories, submit contributions to others' repositories, and review changes to code.

The software that runs GitHub was written using Ruby on Rails and Erlang by GitHub, Inc. developers Chris Wanstrath,[12] PJ Hyett, and Tom Preston-Werner.


GitHub is mostly used for code.

In addition to source code, GitHub supports the following formats and features:

Licensing of repositories

GitHub's Terms of Service do not require public software projects hosted on GitHub to meet the Open Source Definition. For that reason, it is advisable for users and developers intending to use a piece of software found on GitHub to read the software license in the repository (usually found in a top-level file called "LICENSE", "LICENSE.txt", or similar) to determine if it meets their needs. The Terms of Service state, "By setting your repositories to be viewed publicly, you agree to allow others to view and fork your repositories."[17]

GitHub Enterprise

GitHub Enterprise is similar to GitHub's public service but is designed for use by large-scale enterprise software development teams where the enterprise wishes to host their repositories behind a corporate firewall.[18]


GitHub also operates other services: a pastebin-style site called Gist[11] that is for hosting code snippets (GitHub proper is for hosting larger projects), and a slide hosting service called Speaker Deck.

Tom Preston-Werner presented the then-new Gist feature at a punk rock Ruby conference in 2008.[19] Gist builds on the traditional simple concept of a pastebin by adding version control for code snippets, easy forking, and SSL encryption for private pastes. Because each "gist" has its own Git repository, multiple code snippets can be contained in a single paste and they can be pushed and pulled using Git. Further, forked code can be pushed back to the original author in the form of a patch, so gists (pastes) can become more like mini-projects.

Education program

GitHub launched a new program called the GitHub Student Developer Pack to give students free access to popular development tools and services. GitHub partnered with Bitnami, Crowdflower, DigitalOcean, DNSimple, HackHands, Namecheap, Orchestrate, Screenhero, SendGrid, Stripe, Travis CI and Unreal Engine to launch the program.[20]


The shading of the map illustrates the number of users as a proportion of each country’s Internet population. The circular charts surrounding the two hemispheres depict the total number of GitHub users (left) and commits (right) per country.


Main article: Censorship of GitHub

Departure of Tom Preston-Werner

In March 2014, GitHub programmer Julie Ann Horvath alleged that founder and CEO Tom Preston-Werner and his wife Theresa engaged in a pattern of harassment against her that led to her leaving the company.[38] In April 2014, GitHub released a statement denying Horvath's allegations.[39][40] However, following an internal investigation, GitHub confirmed the claims. GitHub's CEO Chris Wanstrath wrote on the company blog, "The investigation found Tom Preston-Werner in his capacity as GitHub’s CEO acted inappropriately, including confrontational conduct, disregard of workplace complaints, insensitivity to the impact of his spouse's presence in the workplace, and failure to enforce an agreement that his spouse should not work in the office."[41] Preston-Werner then resigned from the company.


GitHub, Inc. was originally known as Logical Awesome LLC.[42]

Organizational structure

As of December 2012, GitHub, Inc. was a flat organization with no middle managers; in other words, "everyone is a manager" (self-management).[43] Employees can choose to work on projects that interest them (open allocation). However, salaries are set by the chief executive.[44]

In 2014, GitHub, Inc. introduced a layer of middle management.[45]

Finance is a start-up business, which in its first years provided enough revenue to be funded solely by its three founders and start taking on employees.[46] In July 2012, four years after the company was founded, Andreessen Horowitz invested $100M in venture capital.[3] In July 2015 GitHub raised another $250M of venture capital in a series B round. Investors were Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive Capital and other venture capital funds.[47]

See also


  1. "About - GitHub". GitHub.
  2. " Alexa Ranking". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  3. 1 2 Williams, Alex (9 July 2012). "GitHub Pours Energies into Enterprise – Raises $100 Million From Power VC Andreessen Horowitz". Tech Crunch. Andreessen Horowitz is investing an eye-popping $100 million into GitHub
  4. "Why GitHub's pricing model stinks (for us)". LosTechies. 7 November 2012. Archived from the original on 29 June 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  5. "The Problem With Putting All the World's Code in GitHub". Wired. 29 June 2015. Archived from the original on 29 June 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  6. "GitHub Press Info". Github. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
  7. Georgios Gousios; Bogdan Vasilescu; Alexander Serebrenik; Andy Zaidman. "Lean GHTorrent: GitHub Data on Demand" (PDF). The Netherlands: Delft University of Technology & †Eindhoven University of Technology: 1. Retrieved 9 July 2014. During recent years, GITHUB (2008) has become the largest code host in the world.
  8. "FAQ of Octocat". Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  9. Weis, Kristina (2014-02-10). "GitHub CEO and Co-Founder Chris Wanstrath Keynoting Esri's DevSummit!". in 2007 they began working on GitHub as a side project
  10. Preston-Werner, Tom (19 October 2008). "GitHub Turns One!". GitHub. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  11. 1 2 Catone, Josh (24 July 2008). "GitHub Gist is Pastie on Steroids".
  12. "Interview with Chris Wanstrath". 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  13. "Integrations Directory". GitHub. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  14. "Mention @somebody. They're notified.". GitHub. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  15. "Github Help / Categories / Writing on GitHub". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  16. Weinhoffer, Eric (2013-04-09). "GitHub Now Supports STL File Viewing".
  18. "Introducing GitHub Enterprise". GitHub. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  19. Preston-Werner, Tom (2008-07-20). God's memory leak - a scientific treatment. RubyFringe. Retrieved 2014-10-21. He previewed the upcoming git feature gist
  20. By Frederic Lardinois, TechCrunch. "GitHub Partners With Digital Ocean, Unreal Engine, Others To Give Students Free Access To Developer Tools." 7 October 2014. 7 October 2014.
  21. Dascalescu, Dan (3 November 2009). "The PITA Threshold: GitHub vs. CPAN". Dan Dascalescu's Wiki.
  22. "One Million Repositories, Git Official Blog". 25 July 2010.
  23. "Those are some big numbers, Git Official Blog". 20 April 2011.
  24. "Github Has Surpassed Sourceforge and Google Code in Popularity". During the period Black Duck examined, Github had 1,153,059 commits, Sourceforge had 624,989, Google Code and 287,901 and CodePlex had 49,839.
  25. Peter Levine (2012-07-09). "Software Eats Software Development".
  26. "Code-sharing site Github turns five and hits 3.5 million users, 6 million repositories". 2013-04-11. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  27. "10 Million Repositories". 2013-12-23. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
  28. "GitHub Expands To Japan, Its First Office Outside The U.S.". techcrunch. 2015-06-04.
  29. "GitHub raises $250 million in new funding, now valued at $2 billion". Fortune. 2015-07-29.
  30. "Forbes Cloud 100". Forbes. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  31. "Russia Blacklists, Blocks GitHub Over Pages That Refer To Suicide".
  32. "GitHub, Vimeo and 30 more sites blocked in India over content from ISIS". The Next Web. 2014-12-31.
  33. "Large Scale DDoS Attack on". GitHub. 27 March 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  34. "Last night, GitHub was hit with massive denial-of-service attack from China". The Verge. 27 March 2015. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  35. "U.S. Coding Website GitHub Hit With Cyberattack". The Wall Street Journal. 29 March 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  36. "Massive denial-of-service attack on GitHub tied to Chinese government". Ars Technica. 31 March 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  37. "Turkey blocked GitHub and Dropbox to hide leaks – reports".
  38. Biddle, Sam; Tiku, Nitasha (March 17, 2014). "Meet the Married Duo Behind Tech's Biggest New Harassment Scandal". Vallywag. Gawker. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  39. Miller, Claire Cain (April 21, 2014). "GitHub Founder Resigns After Investigation". Bits. The New York Times.
  40. Wilhelm, Alex (April 21, 2014). "GitHub Denies Allegations Of "Gender-Based Harassment," Co-Founder Preston-Werner Resigns". TechCrunch.
  41. "Follow up to the investigation results". April 28, 2014.
  42. "New Year, New Company". Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  43. Ryan Tomayko (2 April 2012). "Show How, Don't Tell What - A Management Style". Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  44. Quentin Hardy. "Dreams of 'Open' Everything". New York Times.
  45. Evelyn, Rusli (17 July 2014). "Harassment claims make startup GitHub grow up". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  46. Michael, Carney (20 June 2013). "GitHub CEO explains why the company took so damn long to raise venture capital". PandoDaily. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
  47. Lardinois, Frederic. "GitHub Raises $250M Series B Round To Take Risks". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2016-07-04.

External links

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