So it has been almost 2 months now since this year’s GitHub Universe has come and gone, and I thought I’d share some of the highlights from the conference and my thoughts on some of the new and upcoming things.

Lights… Camera… Actions!

The big reveal during the keynote this year was GitHub Actions. Touted as being “the biggest thing since the pull request,” Actions essentially allow defining a workflow right within the repo to execute tasks in response to events that occur within that repo. The tasks are ran within Docker containers and the feeling I get is they can do a lot of the things that many integration apps and CI tools out there do and perhaps even more than that. With it residing so close to the code, and essentially allowing the developer to execute their code within GitHub, it opens up a whole realm of possibilities.

When I first heard about Actions, I was very excited about it and was anxious to try it out for myself so I immediately rushed out to sign up for the limited beta. I just recently got my access so expect a post in the coming weeks on my findings as I explore this new feature.

Open Source and giving back

Of course one of the key points of GitHub Universe is Open Source Software and getting a chance to meet some of the people behind it. I often get a lot of ideas and inspiration from the sessions, and something I took away this year is to try and document my own personal journey. That is one of the reasons I actually decided to start up this blog (aside from just the mere fact that I tend to enjoy rambling endlessly about things). But having that outlet and writing things out gives me a chance to share those thoughts with my colleagues and others around the world.

There was some discussion about how to make time to give back to the open source tools that we use, and I think that is advice that should be taken to heart. We are relying even more upon OSS these days. It only continues to thrive with the generous support of the community that is developing it.

The trend towards Inner Source

there were a fair number of sessions that talked about the concept of Inner Source. For those not familiar, this is simply companies and other entities taking the best practices that have come about in the Open Source community and applying those same practices to their private internal projects. Usually this has been with the goal of breaking down silos, reducing duplicated efforts across the organization, and creating more transparency within the organization on how various things work. I think it’s a fascinating idea. It really does surprise me to see the concepts of Inner Source being adopted in so many places, even place I would not expect like NASA’s JPL or even a highly regulated pharmaceutical company like Eli Lilly.

After doing some looking into things going on internally at Salesforce I have found that we also have our own efforts towards those Inner Source practices as well. There’s certainly a lot more going on with that front than I was even aware of.

Conclusion

This year’s GitHub Universe was overall a lot of fun, and like last year I feel like I learned a lot of things. I’m already making plans to return next year, and am looking forward to what comes next.