The developer community is having a collective freakout with the recent news of Microsoft taking over GitHub.
I’ve had a GitHub account for more than 4 years and I’ve honestly haven’t used it much. I visited a couple of times over the years but never really dug deep enough to understand what GitHub does and how it can be useful — until a couple of weeks ago when I started learning more about it.
Since my background is on the UX side and have not worked on projects where I was coding in collaboration with other coders, I’m a different type of user than a dedicated developer (GitHub’s primary user persona).
Like most developer-centric tools, GitHub has tons UX problems. It’s competitors, BitBucket and GitLab also have UX problems. I haven’t spent enough time researching additional alternatives that have better UX.
Whenever I hear that a tool is “Open Source” I will not trust it to remain independent — unless it’s owned and operated by a not-for-profit organization
Since I’m a “new” GitHub user and I wasn’t a fan of the UX issues, I’m not feeling the pain as intensely as others are feeling it. But one thing is certain, I’ve been reminded that whenever I hear that a tool is “Open Source” I will not trust it to remain independent — unless it’s owned and operated by a not-for-profit organization.
Microsoft’s acquisition has caused a ripple in the marketplace. I’m sure GitLab and BitBucket are loving the news. But these two shouldn’t get comfortable just because they’re the default alternative — for now.
UX is a critical resource in competitive markets
I expect the competitive marketplace to become tighter and more competitive. These conditions make UX a more critical, competitive resource. I hope the leaders in all these companies realize that.