GitHub, the world’s largest open source developer community platform, is setting up a dedicated entity in India. The company announced the opening of GitHub India Private Limited, which will be a subsidiary of GitHub, Inc with plans to open offices in Hyderabad and Bengaluru soon.
“We are building out a team from India for the first time. India is our third largest country in terms of developer collaboration on Github after the US and China. We are starting to build out a team to support the developer and student communities as well as grow our enterprise customer base,” Erica Brescia, Chief Operating Officer at GitHub told indianexpress.com. Brescia is the first COO the company has had, and joined only about seven months back.
The India expansion comes as GitHub claims to have seen 22 per cent yearly growth in the country in 2019 alone. The aim for GitHub is to have 200 employees in India by the end of the calendar year and it plans to hire employees across community support, educational outreach, marketing, sales, support and engineering.
Asked if the upcoming intermediary rules, which stipulate that a company with more than 50 lakh users needs to have a permanent office in India, was behind the move for an India office, Brescia said this was not related.
“India was at the top not only where the country is today in terms of developer adoption, but where we will be in five years with all the talent that you’re graduating here every year. It’s a million engineers a year graduating and the future of software development is here,” she pointed out.
In January 2019, GitHub had written a letter to the IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, along with Wikipedia and Mozilla Foundation expressing concerns over the upcoming rules. The letter had noted, “These rules apply indiscriminately to all intermediaries, sweeping up online repositories of knowledge, browsers, operating systems, and countless other kinds of internet companies and organisations into its scope.”
In India, GitHub will focus on both supporting the developer community and try to woo more enterprise customers who host their projects on the platforms. One of the bigger enterprise clients that GitHub has on board is Swiggy, and the company plans to grow this segment more, as it focuses on sales as well.
“We are fortunate to not have an awareness problem, and we have seen fantastic growth in India in terms of developer engagement. We expect to accelerate that growth now that we are building a team. On the enterprise side, we are still learning,” Brescia added.
GitHub has also seen 75 per cent growth in public repositories or new projects from India, which the company sees as a very healthy trajectory. It also plans an education outreach in the country.
The platform claims to have around 760,0000 plus active students globally who have already learnt and built with the GitHub Student Developer Pack. GitHub already has some campus experts in India, who are students representing the platform on their college campus, though it plans to do more outreach now that it has an office.
As part of the education efforts, the GitHub Hackathon Grant programme will be extended for students in India. It supports student hackathons with up to $1,000 in grants. Brescia also expressed that they will hopefully work with the Startup India mission to bring GitHub into the classroom.
“Part of building a team in India is to understand the unique needs of Indian developers at all levels of education and within companies. We’ll take a look at what makes sense for the long term once we get more experience operating in the market,” she added.
Regarding the developer community, the company COO said many were excited that GitHub will be engaging more directly with them. For enterprises, the COO explained that GitHub was not just helping companies modernise the way they built software, but were also actively strengthening their security tools. The platform claims to have 29 of the Top Fortune 500 companies as its customers.
“We’re building a lot of security tools and building a community of security experts around GitHub. And the reason that that’s important is because in a modern software supply chain, 90 per cent of all of the code that is used is open source. By building better security tooling into GitHub and building a team of experts that is taking a look at vulnerabilities in open source and working to address them, we are going to be able to materially improve the security of the world’s software,” she said adding that it was a really important new area of investment for the company.
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