Is Git going mainstream?

Thought you knew Git? If so, last month’s Git Merge 2016 conference at New World Stages in New York might have been a major eye opener.

Git Merge 2016 brought together a coding community consisting of developers, engineers and IT managers alike. Interested in learning how to better leverage Git in their everyday jobs, sharpening their skills set and networking with other coders, everyone had something to gain from this unique event.

The conference also provided a stage for Git to announce some of its latest innovations. As you might have come to expect from the tool that was introduced to help source control Linux, the earliest and most distributed open source project of its time, Git’s new features allow even more robust scaling, enabling it to support larger projects than ever before.

Scaling for a supernova

The initial session at Git Merge 2016 was delivered by Greg Kroah-Hartman of the Linux Foundation. Linux is the largest software project – ever. With 21 million lines of code and almost eight changes every hour, you have to wonder, what engine drives this freight train of code? The answer is Git.

“Without Git, the Linux Kernel developers would not be advancing at the rate that they currently are, averaging over seven changes an hour per release, every 2 1/2 months.”

– Greg Kroah-Hartman

In short, Git makes the Linux Kernel possible. With this validation, businesses need no further convincing that Git has the scaling capacity for large enterprises.

The big announcement

This proof point was further validated during Patrick Reynold’s session, “Scaling at GitHub.” He provided perhaps the biggest announcement of the day – the release of DGit, a storage tool for Git projects.

By distributing copies to three different servers, no single server is responsible for a whole Git project. Two of three servers can fail without any impact on the user.

Able to deal with high, spiky traffic, DGit is failure tolerant, self-healing and self-balancing. The takeaway – large, business-critical Git projects are safe from server failure – is something that large enterprises demand.

Solving for a thundering herd

However, DGit is not the only, new solution that enables Git to scale. Reynolds also provided an overview of Gitmon, a tool which sets individual user limits for GitHub CPU and memory, preventing any single user from overloading and crashing the system.

Gitmon addresses the ‘thundering herd problem’ that is often common with web usage. When a large group arrives at the same time, wanting the same thing, it puts tremendous stress on the system.

Gitmon ensures that GitHub is always up and running. The combination of DGit and Gitmon provide Git with a high level of reliability and scalability.

The onboarding issue

While the challenge of constantly keeping Git up and running is certainly significant, it isn’t the only issue that Git is working to solve. The prospect of teaching newcomers how to use Git has long been an issue, perhaps something that has held Git back from mainstream adoption.

In fact, Emma Jane Hogbin Westby delivered a session specifically on why most approaches to teaching Git have been unsuccessful, and what can be done to simplify the onboarding experience.

With GitHub, Git has taken strides to address this problem. GitHub provides users the ability to work through a browser, with Git operating on the backend. GitHub, and other products that work on top of Git, offer many of the same features as the command line, but with a much improved user experience. Such features have enabled a new group of coders to leverage the power of Git.

Improve GitHub with project management tools

While GitHub is by no means breaking news (founded back in 2008), the wave of innovative tools which further improve its usability and intuitiveness are., for example, is one such tool. It integrates with GitHub, providing simple and automated open issue tracking through the use of a Kanban board. With increased issue visibility, project owners are better equipped to manage projects, remote teams can work together more efficiently and willing open-source contributors are able to provide solutions to outstanding tasks.

The bottom line is that new tools, such as Waffle, are making using GitHub easier than ever before.

Git Merge 2016 was more than just an event which brought the local coding community together. Not only was it a day of information sharing, networking and training, it was a forum that provided Git the opportunity to show off its latest innovations.

The advancements and new technologies being utilized by Git were on full display – its technology providing enterprise class scale and its user experience more intuitive and easier than ever.

Effectively, Git has evolved and advanced. Git Merge 2016 provided the proof points that Git has distinguished itself as one of the best source control systems on the market, and one that it is well-positioned to lead the coding community into the future of development.




Kyle Curry is a product marketing manager at CA Technologies, supporting the project teams in…



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