Meet Our Steering Committee: GitHub

Posted on August 17th, 2021 by Nilooka Dissanayake

GitHub shares thoughts on green software and how developers have to make sustainability-conscious decisions throughout the process of building and shipping software.

Meet Our Steering Committee: GitHub

GitHub is the home for all developers. We make it easier for developers to be developers: to work together, to solve challenging problems, and to create the world’s most important technologies. We foster a collaborative community that can come together—as individuals and in teams—to create the future of software and make a difference in the world.

GitHub is much more than code. It is the home of open source collaboration. It is where new developers get started and where experienced developers expand their knowledge. It is a community where developers come together to solve the unsolvable and test the limits of what software can do. Our community is made up of students, hobbyists, consultants, enterprise professionals, partners and executives, building software in the way that works best for them.

What does GitHub plan to achieve together with the Foundation, for your business and for the world?

Climate change and the depletion of our natural resources are such large and vast problems that no one person can solve them. It requires a collective effort. The developer community on GitHub is diverse and collaborative, and together, they have the power to create solutions that accelerate human progress and positively impact our planet. We’re committed to building an environmentally sustainable home for all developers so they can build software that improves the health of our planet. 

We’re also working to make carbon-free software a standard across industries. GitHub has been carbon neutral since 2019 and all development on and use of since then has been carbon neutral. To create greener software, developers have to make sustainability-conscious decisions throughout the process of building and shipping software. Creating standards in partnership with the Green Software Foundation will make it possible to increase the adoption of green practices in software development.  

And finally, we’ve created a program, GitHub Sponsors, that allows others to sponsor contributors and maintainers working on projects that they’re passionate about. There are many green-software-focused projects built on GitHub and we’re excited to explore how we can deliver funding to developers creating and advancing green software initiatives through the GitHub Sponsors program. 

How does GitHub see the future of green software?

According to NASA, Earth's temperature has already risen by over 1 degree centigrade since the 19th century, and carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are the highest they have been in a millennium. We must take urgent action to bring down emissions and mitigate the future impacts of climate change.

Every line of code has an environmental impact, with the resulting software consuming earth’s resources. Burgeoning technologies like video streaming, cloud storage, cryptocurrency mining, and artificial intelligence require increased computing resources, and therefore, generate increased carbon emissions. The cycle of new technology isn’t going to slow any time soon, so it’s imperative that we change how technology is built. 

We see a future where every software developer can incorporate sustainable-forward thinking into their workflows, even if they aren’t familiar with carbon-aware software development. By making code and platform architecture more efficient, developers have the power to reduce the carbon footprint of the machines running it. 

What challenges can get in the way of progress?

The concept of sustainability means something different to different people, and that presents a big challenge. How do we standardize implementing sustainable-forward thinking into the software development lifecycle? How do we get every company across every industry to engage in creating green software at a deep enough level to make an impact? Many of these challenges can be solved through education and the work of passionate developers in the community practicing this in the companies they work for.

Meet the other Steering Committee Members of Green Software Foundation:

Read about our Steering Committee members, what they say about working with the Foundation and their thoughts on the future of green software.

Accenture | Globant |  Microsoft | NTT Data Thoughtworks

Originally published in the Green Software Foundation blog

Nilooka Dissanayake
Nilooka DissanayakeEditor & Content Creator