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GitHub, Inc.
GitHub logo 2013.svg
Type Private
Headquarters San Francisco, California, United States
Area served Worldwide
Founder(s) Tom Preston-Werner
Chris Wanstrath
PJ Hyett
CEO Chris Wanstrath
Key people PJ Hyett (COO)
Industry Software
Employees 241 (2015)
Slogan(s) Build software better, together.
Written in Ruby
Alexa rank positive decrease 95 (March 2015)[1]
Registration Optional (required for creating and joining projects)
Available in English
Launched 10 April 2008
Current status Active

GitHub is a web-based Git repository hosting service, which offers all of the distributed revision control and source code management (SCM) functionality of Git as well as adding its own features. Unlike Git, which is strictly a command-line tool, GitHub provides a web-based graphical interface and desktop as well as mobile integration. It also provides access control and several collaboration features such as wikis, task management, and bug tracking and feature requests for every project.[2]

GitHub offers both paid plans for private repositories and free accounts, which are usually used to host open-source software projects. As of 2014, GitHub reports having over 3.4 million users and with 16.7 million repositories[3] making it the largest code host in the world.[4]



Development of the GitHub platform began on 1 October 2007.[5][6] 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 period.[7]

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 which 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 which 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.

GitHub also operates other services: a pastebin-style site called Gist[7] which is for hosting code snippets (GitHub proper is for hosting larger projects), and a slide hosting service called Speaker Deck.

The software that runs GitHub was written using Ruby on Rails and Erlang by GitHub, Inc. developers Chris Wanstrath,[8] PJ Hyett, and Tom Preston-Werner.

GitHub launched a new program to give students free access to their tools on 7 October 2014. It is called the GitHub Student Developer Pack. GitHub will partner with Bitnami, Crowdflower, DigitalOcean, DNSimple, HackHands, Namecheap, Orchestrate, Screenhero, SendGrid, Stripe, Travis CI and Unreal Engine to launch the program.[9]


GitHub is mostly used for code.

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

  • Documentation, including automatically-rendered README files in a variety of Markdown-like file formats (see README files on GitHub)
  • Issue tracking (including feature requests)
  • Wikis
  • Small websites can be hosted from public repositories on GitHub. The URL format is
  • Nested task-lists within files
  • Visualization of geospatial data
  • Gantt charts
  • 3D render files which can be previewed using a new integrated STL file viewer which displays the files on a 3D canvas.[10] The viewer is powered by WebGL and Three.js.
  • Photoshop's native PSD format can be previewed and compared to previous versions of the same file.

Licensing of repositories[edit]

GitHub's Terms of Service do not require public software projects hosted on GitHub to meet the Open Source Definition. Therefore (and in any case) 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.

GitHub Enterprise[edit]

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.[11]


Tom Preston-Werner presented the then-new Gist feature at a punk rock Ruby conference in 2008.[12] 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.


One of GitHub's primary revenue streams[citation needed] is GitHub Jobs[13] where employers can post job offers for $450/listing.


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.
  • 24 February 2009: GitHub team members announced in a talk at Yahoo! headquarters that during the first year that GitHub was online, it accumulated 46,000 public repositories, 17,000 of them in the previous month alone. At that time, about 6,200 repositories had been forked at least once, and 4,600 merged.
  • 5 July 2009: a GitHub Blog post announced that they had reached the 100,000 users mark.
  • 27 July 2009: In another talk delivered at Yahoo!, Tom Preston-Werner announced that GitHub had grown to host 90,000 unique public repositories, 12,000 having been forked at least once, for a total of 135,000 repositories.[14]
  • 25 July 2010: GitHub announced that it hosts 1 million repositories.[15]
  • 20 April 2011: GitHub announced that it is hosting 2 million repositories.[16]
  • 9 July 2012: Peter Levine, general partner at GitHub's investor Andreessen Horowitz, stated that GitHub had been growing revenue at 300% annually since 2008 "profitably nearly the entire way".[17]
  • 16 January 2013: GitHub announced it had passed the 3 million users mark and was then hosting more than 5 million repositories.[18]
  • 23 December 2013: GitHub announced it had reached 10 million repositories.[19]
  • 3 December 2014: GitHub becomes blocked in Russia due to content that refers to suicide.[20]
  • 31 December 2014: GitHub becomes blocked in India (along with 31 other websites) due to git repositories from ISIS.[21] However, on 10 January 2015, GitHub, along with some other websites, was unblocked in India.


GitHub, Inc. was originally known as Logical Awesome.

In 2014, GitHub's former CEO Tom Preston-Werner resigned from the company after GitHub confirmed harassment allegations.[22][23][24][25]

GitHub's salespeople are not paid on a commission basis.[26]

Organizational structure[edit]

As of December 2012, GitHub, Inc. was a flat organization with no middle managers; in other words, "everyone is a manager" (self-management).[27] Employees can choose to work on projects that interest them (open allocation). However, salaries are set by the chief executive.[28][needs update]

In 2014, GitHub, Inc. introduced a layer of middle management.[29]

Finance[edit] 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.[30] In July 2012, four years after the company was founded, Andreessen Horowitz invested $100M in venture capital.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ " Alexa Ranking". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2015-03-27. 
  2. ^ a b 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 
  3. ^ Whitaker, Marisa (April 2014). "Former UC student establishes a celebrated website in GitHub that simplifies coding collaboration for millions of users". University of Cincinnati. Retrieved 2014-07-09. 
  4. ^ Georgios Gousios; Bogdan Vasilescu; Alexander Serebrenik; Andy Zaidman. "Lean GHTorrent: GitHub Data on Demand". The Netherlands: Delft University of Technology & †Eindhoven University of Technology. p. 1. Retrieved 9 July 2014. During recent years, GITHUB (2008) has become the largest code host in the world. 
  5. ^ 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 
  6. ^ Preston-Werner, Tom (19 October 2008). "GitHub Turns One!". GitHub. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  7. ^ a b Catone, Josh (24 July 2008). "GitHub Gist is Pastie on Steroids". 
  8. ^ "Interview with Chris Wanstrath". 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Weinhoffer, Eric (2013-04-09). "GitHub Now Supports STL File Viewing". 
  11. ^ "Introducing GitHub Enterprise". GitHub. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  12. ^ 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 
  13. ^ "Github Jobs API". 
  14. ^ Dascalescu, Dan (3 November 2009). "The PITA Threshold: GitHub vs. CPAN". Dan Dascalescu's Wiki. 
  15. ^ "One Million Repositories, Git Official Blog". 25 July 2010. 
  16. ^ "Those are some big numbers, Git Official Blog". 20 April 2011. 
  17. ^ Peter Levine (2012-07-09). "Software Eats Software Development". 
  18. ^ "Code-sharing site Github turns five and hits 3.5 million users, 6 million repositories". 2013-04-11. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  19. ^ "10 Million Repositories". 2013-12-23. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 
  20. ^ "Russia Blacklists, Blocks GitHub Over Pages That Refer To Suicide". 
  21. ^ "GitHub, Vimeo and 30 more sites blocked in India over content from ISIS". 2014-12-31. 
  22. ^ Biddle, Sam; Tiku, Nitasha (17 March 2014). "Meet the Married Duo Behind Tech's Biggest New Harassment Scandal". Vallywag. Gawker. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  23. ^ Miller, Claire Cain (21 April 2014). "GitHub Founder Resigns After Investigation". Bits. The New York Times. 
  24. ^ Wilhelm, Alex (21 April 2014). "GitHub Denies Allegations Of "Gender-Based Harassment," Co-Founder Preston-Werner Resigns". TechCrunch. 
  25. ^ "Follow up to the investigation results". 28 April 2014. 
  26. ^ "Github Raises $100 Million From Andreessen Horowitz". Forbes. 9 July 2012. 
  27. ^ Ryan Tomayko (2 April 2012). "Show How, Don't Tell What - A Management Style". Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  28. ^ Quentin Hardy. "Dreams of 'Open' Everything". New York Times. 
  29. ^ Evelyn, Rusli (17 July 2014). "Harassment claims make startup GitHub grow up". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  30. ^ Michael, Carney (20 June 2013). "GitHub CEO explains why the company took so damn long to raise venture capital". PandoDaily. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 

External links[edit]