Dear GitHub: Thanks for getting rid of streaks

Dear GitHub: Thanks for getting rid of streaks

Github Streaks are dead and gone. About ten days ago, GitHub announced it was changing contribution graphs to reflect private as well as public commits, and ditching the metric that tracked how long you’d been active altogether.

Here’s how GitHub framed it:

As part of this update, code streaks are no longer featured on your contribution graph. The simplified interface focuses on the work you’re doing rather than the duration of your activity.

I couldn’t be happier about this. Streaks was often used as a bullshit metric by heady developers who liked to slap their chest about how much they were ‘giving back’ by contributing to open source projects. It was self-indulgent and nonsensical — and I fucking hated it.

‘Look how much work I do for open source! I contribute every day!’ Except that contribution could have been, like, fixing a spelling error or cleaning up some syntax (or actual lies). Not that the work (whatever it was) wasn’t appreciated, but hearing about it was tiresome.

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Now GitHub features public and private contributions, which is a more solid metric for what work you may actually be doing. In a way, I can see it being more useful for those looking to land jobs.

Companies typically don’t keep their code bases in the open air market of GitHub, instead choosing private repos where their developers and engineers can work in peace. In allowing us to show how much work we’re doing on private repos, GitHub is letting us show how effective (and probably valuable) we are to our current employer or clients.

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The downside is that some will have to find a different motivational tactic to keep active.

It’s also a subtle way for GitHub to encourage paid plans. Instead of developers boasting about streaks, we’ll now get the humblebrag of working on private repos.

Still, I’ll take the humblebrag over a loud-mouth any day. Thanks, GitHub.

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