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Supporting APAC’s growing open source developer community

Bryan Wu
Bryan Wu12/5/2022 09:59 PM GMT+08  • 4 min read
Supporting APAC’s growing open source developer community
GitHub is seeing some of its fastest growth from within the Asia Pacific region. Photo: Unsplash
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Open source development is well on its way to becoming mainstream. According to the Octoverse 2022 report by GitHub, more than 90 million people are using GitHub’s open source software development platform this year. Notably, Asia has the highest growth in terms of active users.

This is why GitHub is starting to place greater emphasis on Asia Pacific — a region which its APAC vice president Sharryn Napier says formed a relatively small market for the company until recently. “What we’re seeing is the evolution of the enterprise customers off the hot heels of Covid-19 and the whole digitalisation movement, not just in our region but generally across the world and on our platform.”

She says that India, with just under 10 million users on the platform, is the second largest developer market in the world, while others like Australia, Japan and Southeast Asia are all growth markets for GitHub. Since joining the company in February, Napier says she has doubled her regional team.

“A lot of our customers in the region are going through digital channels in a much more deliberate way and they’re also making considerations on how they want to maintain their servers and whether they want to have their own infrastructure,” she explains.

Napier says that GitHub is seeing a very large uptick, particularly in the Southeast Asia region, of its cloud product. For example, almost all of its customers in Indonesia use GitHub’s cloud product server.

This includes e-commerce platform Tokopedia, which began as a digital marketplace and grew into a technology company supporting e-commerce for the whole of Indonesia. As the platform grew, it required a move from a monolith into a microservices model in order to scale its software architecture to match its growth. Moving to a microservices model ensured individual engineers could speed up development by managing their own code and deploying as needed, but required a more flexible cloud platform that GitHub’s Enterprise Cloud was able to provide.

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With organisations like Tokopedia moving onto GitHub, Napier says it makes for an easy transition into industries for APAC’s growing pool of digital natives that have learned to code on the same platform. “Knowing that the people you are hiring already know how to use GitHub makes for a far more efficient process than having to onboard them to an unfamiliar product, which is particularly important for start-ups,” she says.

To build on this progress, GitHub has also announced a US$10 million GitHub Fund in partnership with M12, Microsoft’s venture arm, to help build new careers and companies in open source. “Our investment focus will be open source developer tools at their seed stage. By partnering with companies early, we can support founders as the roots of their community form and their products take shape,” says Naytri Sramek, GitHub’s senior director of strategy.

Meanwhile, for independent open source maintainers who want to pursue full-time work, GitHub is also launching its Accelerator programme, with its first intake next year set to fund 20 developers globally over the course of ten weeks. GitHub will provide a US$20,000 cash stipend and mentorship to fellows in the programme, who will work with pioneers in the open source community on how to grow their project, as well as company sponsors to understand how to build durable streams of funding, Sramek explains.

She adds: “With GitHub Accelerator, the vast majority of our 20 fellows are not going to be from mature geographies like Europe or North America, and will instead come from areas where developers just need the guidance and support of a community that has already succeeded in order to see their own success."

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