GitHub's next big innovations won't come from GitHub

Some of GitHub's best new features could be third-party apps

Flush with a fresh round of funding, GitHub is gearing up for a round of expansion as a business. But how is GitHub -- the service, not the company -- poised to evolve?

By all appearances, it won't be GitHub itself that pioneers novel uses for its service. Instead, third parties will build those services with GitHub in new ways -- not only by back-ending into GitHub, but by transforming GitHub's Web-based user interface as well.

Add-ins, not simply add-ons

ZenHub is one recent example. Its product, now expanding to encompass the on-premises enterprise edition of GitHub, adds collaboration and project management tools directly to the GitHub interface. Kanban-style multirepository task boards, velocity tracking, burndown charts, and other features all show up within GitHub, rather than in a separate application.

 "Our competitors can be integrated with GitHub," said ZenHub co-founder Matthew Butler in a phone call, "but not present within GitHub itself." This also helps, in his view, to make GitHub less intimidating for project managers.
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.