I answered such a question on Zhihu a few days ago: How did GitHub get so popular?

This is the reason. GitHub is not merely a code management tool, but rather a hacker community based on “Git”, one of the most popular technology in open source communities. This is super cool since building a high quality as well as active community is anything but a no-brainer, let alone ‘code’ is the only vernacular spoken in the community. Moreover, hackers, which I mean those who enjoy solving problems in “techie” ways here, often have broad interests, so it is hard to grab their attention for a long time. Paul Graham wrote in the beginning of one of his essays:

Graham explains in this long piece all kinds of the characters he found in great hackers. And the aforementioned paragraph is exactly what I think best explains how GitHub gets so popular. GitHub turns Git, a technology originated from the developer community, to a social network, and allows all those passionate coders to communicate through code snippets. The excellent user experience and support from open-source community opinion leaders have helped this community to be far more competitive than others. It may look strange to outsiders that talking about codes can help forming a community. But this is who hackers are. This is just what they love. “Social coding” is the slogan of GitHub, and indeed.

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