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India's developer population booming, age of AI has begun: GitHub CEO

Dohmke, who is on an India visit, said that by 2027, India will overtake the United States as the largest software developer community on Earth

Thomas Dohmke, chief executive officer, GitHub

Thomas Dohmke, chief executive officer, GitHub

Peerzada Abrar Bengaluru
India’s burgeoning developer community, combined with the newfound possibilities of artificial intelligence, will not only accelerate digital transformation but will drive immense human and economic progress for the country, said Thomas Dohmke, chief executive officer, GitHub, the world’s leading developer platform.

The platform revealed that there are over 15.4 million developers in India building on GitHub, growing 33 per cent year-on-year (Y-o-Y). India is set to surpass the United States as the largest developer community on GitHub by 2027.

“Where software developers are, economic growth follows. By 2027, India will overtake the United States as the largest software developer community on Earth. This alone signals incredible prosperity ahead, but there’s more to it. At the same time India’s developer population is booming, the age of AI has begun,” said Dohmke during his address to technology leaders at GitHub Galaxy Bengaluru.

He said that developers are already 55 per cent faster when using AI coding assistant Copilot, meaning the software economy, valued globally in the trillions, is moving rapidly faster because of AI.

“India will not just be a global leader, but the global leader in the age of AI. Children and adults alike will learn to code in their native language, leading to a prolonged groundswell of developers,” said Dohmke. He said that creativity in Indian open source will flourish, blooming a spring of AI innovations and startups. And Indian businesses will carve a competitive advantage in the global market, as their developers build software with an accelerated speed of code.

GitHub was acquired in 2018 by Microsoft in a stock deal valued at $7.5 billion. Over 100 million people, including developers from over 90 per cent of the Fortune 100 companies, use GitHub to build products and services together across 420 million repositories.

Enterprises embracing AI

Today, GitHub Copilot has 1.8 million paid subscribers and has been adopted by over 50,000 organisations globally. In India, GitHub revealed that it continues to see the adoption of its Copilot-powered platform by companies in every industry, including Cognizant, MakeMyTrip, and Paytm, surging productivity and the pace of innovation for these businesses.

Prasad Sankaran, executive vice president, software and platform engineering, at tech firm Cognizant, said that since adopting GitHub Copilot, the firm has seen greater productivity and better software quality, and its developers can ship software ahead of the curve. So far, through Cognizant’s Synapse skilling programme, 35,000 Cognizant developers have been trained on GitHub Copilot, with an additional 40,000 developers slated to receive training. “We’ve seen the impact AI can bring, and that’s why we’re committed to empowering our developers with GitHub Copilot at scale. It’s a proven tool that can bring immense productivity gains, and unlock innovation in brand new ways,” said Sankaran.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chief executive officer of fintech firm Paytm, said that security was of paramount importance to Paytm, given its range of financial services. To monitor its rapidly expanding public cloud infrastructure, Paytm used to rely on third-party tools. This would end up with delays in provisioning and impacting overall productivity. “Using GitHub Copilot, Paytm launched ‘Code Armor’, a solution revolutionising the way we approached security and development,” said Sharma.

Sanjay Mohan, group chief technology officer at travel platform MakeMyTrip, said the integration of GitHub Copilot at MakeMyTrip has resulted in substantial productivity gains on several fronts. “The coders are spared the boredom of coding up mundane stuff, freeing up time for higher-order problem solving, which is core to our business of travel,” said Mohan.

Mohammed Rafee Tarafdar, chief technology officer at tech firm Infosys, said that GitHub Copilot is empowering its developers to become more productive and efficient, and enabling them to focus more on value-creating tasks. “Generative AI is transforming every aspect of the software development lifecycle, and using Infosys Topaz assets, we are accelerating Gen AI adoption for our clients,” said Tarafdar.

Open-source innovations

GitHub also showcased how open-source communities in India are leveraging GitHub Copilot to build digital solutions that are helping save lives. For instance, Open Healthcare Network, a pioneering open-source organisation, is dedicated to enhancing healthcare delivery and management. Fuelled by a small team of dedicated developers, GitHub Copilot is accelerating the project's growth as it addresses the needs of the country's healthcare system. The project is now deployed in over 200 hospitals.

“This powerful generative AI tool has dramatically increased our productivity in coding, documentation, and testing,” said Srikanth Nadhamuni, founder and chief technology officer of Aadhaar, and chairman of 10BedICU.

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First Published: Jun 11 2024 | 9:32 PM IST

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