Top Companies Contributing to Open Source – 2011/2021

Which companies and organizations contribute the most to Open Source? Answering this question is not so simple. To try to answer it in this article we will see several interesting analyses. The first one will be based on the number of commits and users exported from the GitHub repository, from 2011 to 2020. Next we will also see OCSI Open Source Contributor Index data updated to May 2021.

Top Companies Contributing to Open Source – 2011/2020

Let’s start with the first analysis for which a video has been made. The video shows data of the number of commits and users exported from the GitHub repository from 2011 to 2020. In January 2020 at the first place of this ranking we find Liferay. Liferay is a free and open source enterprise portal written in Java, distributed under GNU LGPL license and optionally under commercial license. Liferay’s score is 12,258,787. About 1.5 million behind RedHat. Red Hat, Inc. is an American multinational company dedicated to software development and support of free and open source software in the enterprise environment. Almost appearing in third and fourth position are two big companies. On the one hand, in third position, Microsoft with a parameter of 9,842,057, and in fourth place Google with 9,832,261. Decidedly more detached, from the fifth position onwards, there are Apache Foundation, Intel, CERN, Mozilla and others. In 19th and 20th place are Docker with 1,453,252 and Berkley with 1,389,985. Among the Top Companies Contributing to Open Source we also find Facebook and Github as well as some universities such as the University of Michigan.

If we look at the first available data instead, which refer to December 2011, in the first two positions we find again Liferay and RedHat. But in third and fourth position there were not yet Google and Microsoft, but Mozilla with 28.759 and CPAN with 15.107. Google 10 years ago was in eighth position and behind it had Apache Foundation and Apple. Since almost 10 years have passed, the scores are obviously different than today. In general the distance between the first position and the twentieth has all in all remained similar: Liferay in 2011 had a value almost 10 times that of Chromium that in 2011 closed the top 20 with a value of 6272.

Top 15 Companies Contributing to Open Source – 2021

How does the situation change if we analyze the data with another index? In this case we have taken the data of the Open Source Contributor Index. To see the ranking month by month just visit the site of this index:

Unlike the data we have seen before the OCSI index uses a different method. In fact, reading what is written on its site: “The truth is, as previous attempts have shown, there is no single right way to do it. After much analysis, we concluded that it was best to use the commit author’s email address to identify the organization they belong to. From there, OSCI tracks two measures. The first is the number of people who have created 10 or more commits in the current year. We call them Active Contributors. The second is the number of people who have made at least one commit in the year. We call this the Total Community.” Source:

But according to this metric, what are the top companies by active contributor and total community?

But according to this metric, what are the top companies by active contributor and total community? Microsoft is the first Company for number of active contributors. In fact, in May, the figure is equal to 4428. Google follows in second place with 4204. And in third place, with a distance of about 1400 contributors, Red Hat. To follow we find, under the value of 1700, IBM, Intel, Amazon and Facebook. From the eighth position onwards we then find Company with a value below 1000 units.

At the Total Community level, the ranking doesn’t change much. Microsoft, Google and Red Hat are the top three with a value of 9239, 8509 and 4260 respectively. Closing out the top 15 is SUE with a value of 683.

Top 15 Companies Contributing to Open Source – 2016

Again using the parameter created by OSCI (I repeat, to see all the data just see this link: you can see the data from 5 years ago. In particular, in this chapter I would like to focus on the data from 2016 (January) to understand what the situation was like 5 years ago.

In first place by number of Active Contributors in January 2016 was Google. The US company, with headquarters in Mountain View, California, had a value of 538. In second place was Red Hat with 533 and in third place Microsoft with 445. Intel, Pivotal and IBM were also in the top 15. In terms of total community, Google had a parameter of 1510, Red Hat 1265 and Microsoft 1159. Once again, there is a clear gap between the first and fourth positions, almost twice as large.

Source and links

I used several sources for this video and article. The first, for the video, is GitHub Archive & CodersRank. For the analysis of the OSCI index data I used here:

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