Microsoft’s GitHub recently announced that it was going to make a change to its product lineup by making the team version of GitHub free and lowering the price on a full-featured version. The move seemed aimed squarely at matching GitLab’s offering. Well, now GitLab has responded to GitHub.
While both of these excellent offerings compete to bring the best product to market, the real winners here are all of us. True market dynamics are at play resulting in both GitLab and GitHub lowering prices and adding more features (and not just GitHub and GitLab but also their competitors, including Atlassian among others).
I had a chance to sit down with Sid Sijbrandij to discuss GitHub’s move, what GitLab will do and what this means for the market. (BTW, I have to apologize to Sid—it seems I have been mispronouncing his name for years and he is too much of a gentleman to correct me. The proper pronunciation of his name is “See Brandy.”) The video of our conversation appears below, and a blog on the GitLab site explains it all.
In our interview, Sid was very clear that GitLab owes a huge amount of gratitude to GitHub, as it was GitHub that spurred on the early development of GitLab. He truly respects what GitHub has done, as well as the great job Microsoft has done since acquiring GitHub.
The GitLab blog post lays out very clearly what the GitHub offering is and how it compares to the GitLab offering. It’s no coincidence that the new GitHub paid teams offering is the same price as the GitLab bronze offering.
Price aside, according to Sid, the real advantage of GitLab is that its vision of an end-to-end total DevOps solution and the features it adds to achieve this vision give GitLab customers more than they can get from GitHub. While I agree that is true today, I don’t think GitHub is going to be content with its current lineup for long. I think the Microsoft entity already envisions a total DevOps solution as being part of GitHub’s future.
On top of that, I think GitHub and Microsoft are already thinking of how they can leverage Azure to give GitHub an advantage. To Microsoft’s credit, though, at least until now there has not been any special advantage of using GitHub with Azure. Azure remains an open platform that all vendors seem to get fair access to and support from.
All of this aside though, we are all the real winners here. What a great time to be a developer/DevOps professional. While GitLab and GitHub compete with each other to bring more features to market for less money, as I mentioned other companies are competing to bring end-to-end DevOps solutions to market as well. We benefit from all of this competition by getting better tools and solutions at better prices. That’s true market dynamics at work.
It should get only better in the months and years ahead as well. In spite of COVID19 and the rest, it is a great time to be alive.