Is GitHub Government’s Next Big Thing?

Luke Fretwell | FedScoop | June 6, 2012

Barack Obama could be the first U.S. president to fork your code. With recent attempts from the White House to bring a more agile approach to government technology, U.S. Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel’s “Shared First” initiative, released in December, coupled with the federal government’s new digital strategy, the door may slowly be opening to a more widespread public sector collaborative coding environment, such as the one provide by San Francisco-based startup GitHub.

“We’re standing up GitHub at the White House to put our stuff up there,” VanRoekel told the crowd at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York City during the launch of the White House digital strategy in May.

Founded in 2008, GitHub allows developers to upload and provide code freely available to other members of the community, who can then re-purpose or “fork” it, for projects of their own. According to the site, more than 1 million people have shared 3 million code contributions, also know as repositories. Services available include a limited, free account to enterprise offerings for organizations interested in hosting their own collaborative coding environment.

Most recently, the idea of a “shared platform” powered by “open source communities” has emerged in the digital strategy document, “Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People“...