GitHub has become the go-to site for many developers and businesses to host their open-source repositories. The site now boasts over 1.6 million repositories and over 560,000 users.
But a project created this weekend at the Philly Startup Weekend addresses some of the pain-points that both developers and businesses face: how do developers find interesting projects to contribute to? And how do maintainers and businesses find developers who can fill the needs of their projects?
Git Hacking aims to provide a “social layer for GitHub.” As one of the co-founders, Chris Baglieri, explains: “For developers, we’re about connecting them to projects that they’ll likely be interested in contributing to; these projects may or may not be most forked or trending. For maintainers, we’re about finding developers to fill the needs of their projects. Open sourcing is step one, promoting and keeping traction can be tough. We want to arm maintainers with more to help accomplish this.”
Baglieri says he came to Philly Startup Weekend on Friday with “nothing more than an idea and a laptop.” He made the pitch to build this project, which uses the GitHub API. He was joined by Josiah Kiehl, John Bunting, and Aaron Feng, who over the course of the weekend, built out the initial functionality for the site – the ability to find and promote repositories, showcase developers’ skills and repositories, as well as reward those who contribute.
“Businesses win because they get fixes, for example,” says Baglieri. “Maintainers and contributors win being rewarded for their efforts.” But over the weekend, the team also built a rudimentary algorithm that may give some insight into which projects are “healthy,” something that a developer might want to know before opting to contribute.
The team were the winners of the Philly Startup Weekend, but it wasn’t simply the judges who were impressed with what they’d built. After launching the site on Sunday afternoon, Git Hacking received over 400 sign-ups in the first hour-and-a-half, sitting at the top of Hacker News for most of the evening.
The team says that GitHub has done a lot for open source projects, but they think there’s still more to be done to be able to help support the community. “We’re all about open source,” they say. Indeed, you can find the team’s code on GitHub, and you can sign up now for when the site goes live.