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OpenUK Report -State of Open: The UK in 2023, Phase One: A Year in Review

Amanda Brock
20th April 2023

OpenUK shares an update on the State of Open in 2022 (and the beginning of 2023) as our start point for our 2023 Reporting

Much has happened in the last year, not least of which is the UK reaching 3million plus GitHub accounts for the first time. Number one in Europe by far and number 5 globally. This reflects a consistent pattern we have seen since our reporting began in 2021. 

However, the 3,003,033 number, when factored into the latest population figures in the UK puts the UK GitHub account holding at 4.5% of the population in the UK holding a GitHub account. This is not much more than the US, but it is number one globally, when considered on a per capita basis. 

It’s certainly not perfect but the number of GitHub accounts has become one of the most used methods for measuring Open Source Developer accounts and with this figure, perhaps it’s time to recognise the positioning of the UK in Open Source globally.

At KubeCon in Amsterdam this week, we saw the UK’s open soure software leadership take to the stage. 

OpenUK Board Director, Dawn Foster, Head of Community Strategy at VMWare,  joined the 10,000 plus audience as a Keynote Speaker. Two of the Doyennes of Kubernetes and Cloud Native, the UK’s Liz Rice, Emeritus CTO of the CNCF and Chief Open Source Officer at Isovalent and Cheryl Hung Ecosystem Director at Arm also held court. 

Equally recognisable, OpenUK Chief Future Founder, Katie Gamanji, Senior Engineer at Apple, also delivered a presentation to a full house. Katie bagged the Women in IT Awards, Next Gen Woman of the Year 2023 Award,  nominated by OpenUK. 

Our Chief Apprentice Ambassador and Jetstack Engineer, Thomas Meadows delivered a fine keynote at State of Open Con 23 and is also on the stage at KubeCon. 

Security expertise is at-hand with OpenUK’s CISO Andrew Martin, Co-Founder and CEO of Control Plane and OpenUK Board Director and Snyk Director of Developer Relations, Matt Jarvis.

Founder of Syntasso, Paula Kennedy was disappointed not to speak at State of Open Con due to injury, but was back on form for her talk at Kubecon Europe. 

Hannah Foxwell, Product Director Synk Container and OpenUK Ambassador and I didn’t make the Kubecon submission date but were pleased to speak at Cloud Native Rejekts. 

A number of UK companies, including Arm, Canonical, Civo, Control Plane, Jetstack, Snyk, and Weaveworks fielded speakers and also have considerable presence across the event. 

At the same time as Kubecon took place in Amsterdam, I was delighted to join the Open Compute Project’s European Summit in Prague as their headline Keynote Speaker. 

Of course this group offers a diverse ever-growing community contributing to the “People’s Code” – open source software.  We are also representative of the scale of adoption of open source software in the UK.

The first annual OpenUK State of Open Con took place in London on 7 February, with almost 800 attendees and 88.3% of those who signed up joining us in person. Thank you for your commitment.  It was rewarding to see that our policy of DEI at the heart of everything we do works. Our speakers were 56% male, our audience almost ⅓ female and 49.7% of attendees were not white caucasian. This vibrant and diverse community is the future face of UK and global tech. It sits with the OpenUK vision of UK leadership and global collaboration in Open Technology.

Our Phase One Report also includes a focus beyond the growth of the community and open source software in the UK which includes Security, with Dan Conn, Developer Advocate at Sonatype and Dr Rebecca Rumbul, Executive Director and CEO of the Rust Foundation and OpenUK Board Director updating us on the security landscape and challenges. 

The Report lacks any commentary on the ubiquitous AI, open source and generative AI conversation. It will be a key focus in our Phase Two.

Sustainability also sits at the heart of OpenUK’s activities and  Everledger founder and OpenUK’s Chief Sustainability Officer Leanne Kemp shares her vision. Leanne is also a member of HRH Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Taskforce and will be leading OpenUK’s Open Technology for Sustainability Day on 14 September in Edinburgh. Leanne will be joined by Avanade’s Chris Lloyd-Jones who is leading OpenUK’s Open Technology Blueprints for Data Centres (Patchwork Kilt) and EV Charging. Sign up to join us in Edinburgh free of charge,

We will be hosting a Meet Up discussing how to make your first contribution to open source software sponsored by Avanade on Tuesday 26 April. Anyone who would like to join us can register here and will be made very welcome. We will follow this up in May with the related topic of community engagement. Sign up to join us free of charge at our Meet Ups:

This considerate community of UK based leaders and future leaders in open source software is one I am proud to be part of through OpenUK. It is truly flourishing and building an ethos of belonging and a sustainable future through Open Technology. 

Our Annual Survey will take place in May and be used to form our economic update in June. Please do take part if you are based in the UK. You can sign up to our newsletter and obtain more information at:


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