The problems with GitHub's News Feed

Jan 12, 2016

tl;dr — I'm building some sort of TweetDeck for GitHub. It's called DevSpace and starting today you can request an invite to join the private beta.

In 2008, GitHub was launched. It started as a simple place to host Git repositories and now, 8 years later, it's considered one of the most important development tools out there. More than that, it became a powerful social network with more than 11 million users.

But wait a second, did I say “social network”? Yes! GitHub it’s not like Instagram or Facebook. Its dynamics are completely different and still it’s a pretty unique social tool.

In fact, one of the best things about GitHub is following other developers to see what are the new projects they are creating, contributing or bookmarking. Before GitHub you had to find those developers on Twitter and hope they would share something interesting. Now you just see everything they're doing right in your news feed.

The thing is, many people think that GitHub's news feed are limited and I must agree with them. Here are the reasons why:

Refresh, Refresh, Refresh, …

There's no way to track what's happening in real-time. If you want to see what's going on through the day, you need keep a tab open and refresh it from time to time.

I don't know how you feel about this but I believe that real-time updates are crucial, specially if you want to maintain users engaged with your app.

News Feed for Repos

Let’s say you've released a new open source project, or you’re a big fan of a certain project, or simply work everyday on the same repo.

Wouldn’t it be nice to track activities individually based on repositories? Have you ever noticed that there are only news feeds for users and organizations?

Noise Filtering

Sometimes you don’t want to see certain types of activities on the news feed. Maybe you don’t want "X starred Y" events or "X added Y" updates. Maybe there's a user or repo that you're not very interested right now.

Whatever you consider noise, you should be able to filter it.

1 Screen == 1 News Feed

Everyday hundreds of companies start using GitHub and guess what's the first thing they do? They create a new organization. Everyday hundreds of open source projects outgrow their creators and guess what's the first thing they do? They create a new organization.

What ended up happening is that developers now participate in few different organizations and it’s important for them to track what’s happening on each of them.

The problem is — you can only see one news feed at a time.

I believe there's room for improvement here in terms of UI and UX.

So who is going to save us?

Well, the good news is that their APIs are pretty awesome and I’ve been working on an app to make your life easier.

Ladies and gentleman, meet DevSpace.

DevSpace is a desktop app that helps you stay up to date with what’s happening on GitHub in real time. It’s heavily inspired by TweetDeck's column layout, which helps you monitor multiple feeds on a single screen.

DevSpace Screenshot

At this moment, DevSpace is only available to a handful of developers. But starting today you can request an invite to join the private beta too! So make sure you head over to devspace.io so we can put you in!

Also if you're interested on more updates about this app, subscribe to our Medium publication and follow us on Twitter! Happy coding ;)