Which are the most influential organizations on GitHub? We can estimate this using gh-impact.

Quick Introduction

gh-impact measures open source influence. gh-impact is based upon the stars an open source project receives on GitHub: an account has a gh-impact score of n if they have n projects with n stars. Higher gh-impact scores correspond to accounts that have many well-used projects. See here for more information.

The table below lists the top 10 organizations on GitHub, ranked by gh-impact. Among these 10 are a mixture of private, for-profit corporations as well as not-for-profit foundations. There is a whole story to explain how each name ended up on this list, but I will briefly highlight two: Facebook and Microsoft.

Facebook is notable because it has a very high gh-impact score despite having relatively fewer members in the GitHub organization. Facebook has a low user-id, meaning they were early to experiment with GitHub. A “rich get richer” effect is observed across social networks, so this early move may have benefited Facebook’s gh-impact.

Microsoft, on the other hand, is notable for its high user-id; over 3 million other accounts were created on GitHub before Microsoft joined. Microsoft has a famous legacy as an opponent of Open Source. To wit, former Microsoft CEO Ballmer famously quipped, “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches. That’s the way that the license works.” As is evident from the gh-impact organization rankings, Microsoft is a whole different company under Nadella’s watch. The simple observation that they’ve risen to the 4th position after joining GitHub so late in the game is a significant indicator that there is some serious intention behind Microsoft’s shift to open source.

Top 10 Organizations

There are a number of idiosyncrasies to the list as it stands, simply due to the way different organizations created accounts. For example, accounts called “google” and “googlesamples” appear in the top-10. In all likelihood, they are both simply: Google. I have reason to suspect the mixture of programming languages, organization sizes, and several other factors could affect gh-impact, and future work will investigate these questions.

There are companies I’m surprised to not see among the top-10, but there’s only so much room at the top. The Top Individual accounts have also been computed. Check out the Leader Board to explore the whole list.

Stay tuned for the Winter update!