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Using quantitative and qualitative measurements to improve GitHub’s Editor Tools

Our GitHub Editor Tools team is always working to build the best experience—and to do that, want to hear from the people using them every day.


The Editor Tools team at GitHub builds tools for other developers, and we often feel like we know what we should build next. Though we often have good instincts, we know that other developers have different workflows and different pain points. We don’t always know how you will discover, use, and understand what we have built.

As such, we’ve started the process of discovering how you use what we build, and where the gaps in our extensions are. Our primary goal is to bring parts of the GitHub experience to your development environment. We’re dedicated to discovering what we can about how you use your developer environment, and how we can improve the way you collaborate with your code and your team.

We’re tackling this in two major ways:

  1. Improving our metrics
  2. Conducting usability studies

Improving how we collect and analyze metrics

The purpose of improving our metrics is to better understand how you use our extensions and how Editor Tools improve your workflow. We recently wrote a blog post about how we gather metrics in Atom, which you can read more about here.

Through collecting metrics around how you work throughout the development cycle, we can identify better ways to support you: the developer. We continue to be dedicated to protecting our users’ privacy and security, and in this process we are only interested in gathering large amounts of information that will give us indicators for the success of the features we create.

Conducting usability studies

We’re conducting usability studies with developers in the community to better understand who you are, how you write code, and how you collaborate with your team. All of this will help us understand how to better support your goals and workflows. If you’d like to learn more about future usability studies, follow us on our various Twitter accounts: GitHub for Visual Studio, GitHub for Unity, and Atom.

Learning from you

We are currently running usability studies around Visual Studio. If you use Visual Studio to develop software in any capacity (side projects, school, career, open source projects, just learning, etc), we want to learn from you! Our usability studies are typically done remotely over video conferencing software. Learn more about this study and sign up to participate.

You can also check out what we are up to in our various open source repositories:

We always welcome new contributions. Look for issues with the “Good First Issues” label in our repositories’ issue trackers to get started.

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