Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub has caused a large reaction from the developer community. Some think it’s terrible, some think it’s good. My opinion is, it doesn’t matter.
The main complaint from developers, mostly from the open source community, is Microsoft’s troubled past with Linux and open source projects (putting it nicely). Microsoft has openly attacked Linux in the past and tries to stop open source project. They have acted very unethical and possibly hostile to software projects that compete with them. Many open source developers now don’t want to to trust their code to a platform controlled by Microsoft. It’s an understandable criticism.
Why does the acquisition not bother me? I wasn’t under the illusion that GitHub was an ethical company to begin with. That they were on the side of open source. If anything, I believe Microsoft will clean up the culture that was the worst part of GitHub.
GitHub took an open source districuted technology (Git) and put it into a prioprietary central respository. They were VC backed and not profitable. An acquisition was necessary to keep the platform going.
I don’t want it to sound like GitHub was simply a terrible or doomed company. GitHub made Git infinitely more accessible and introduced a new generation of developers to proper coding practices (version history, commenting, contributing, etc.). GitHub is a platform that I use everyday, and have moved most of my personal and business projects too. It’s an amazing and essential tool to many developers workflows.
Microsoft of the future. Microsoft has a new CEO and a new culture. In the past 5 years they have made strides in supporting open source. Linux is supported on Microsoft’s Cloud Platform, and they have one of the largest open source repositories collection on GitHub. They are even part of the Linux Foundation. Microsoft has shown a commitment to open source and developers as part of the company’s future.
I came across a lot of links during research for this blog post. Rather than have a bunch of links throughout the post, I decided to create a list here.
GitHub Wasn’t Perfect To Begin With:
Acquisition Is A Good Thing
Acquisition Is A Bad Thing
- https://jacquesmattheij.com/what-is-wrong-with-microsoft-buying-github + https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17225599
Other Links of Interest: