State of Open: The UK in 2023 Phase Three “Skills or Bust”

November 14, 2023 2 Min Read

Open UK releases its latest report on the skills required to grow open source to realise its full economic potential.

From the introduction of the report

This Phase builds on Phase Two’s focus on enterprises, to spotlight UK-based individuals forming the globally-employed Open Source Software workforce. Building on the concept that Open Source Software is the “submarine under the digital economy”, it is the first report to seek to understand this workforce and will be repeated annually. Considering who they are, what they do and how they work, it’s an expose of those in the Submarine that contributed 27% of UK Tech Sector GVA in 2022.
Analysed GitHub data reveals the 31,800 UK contributors and maintainers. This data will be collected and analysed quarterly building a detailed understanding of the UK’s Open Source community and workforce in future reports – a picture that no other country in the world has. Future reports will also analyse the impact of OpenUK’s work in bringing new contributors into the Open Source Community and the potential for this to enable their hands on experience and skills development, how it supports the build of their CVs and careers with global tech to enable a future UK tech sector with the right skills and a more diverse face.
There is a significant potential impact of leveraging Open Source contributions to enable the UK to retain talent through growing their practical experience from the UK and allowing hands-on exposure to the global tech sector via Open Source project contribution from the UK thanks to adequate connectivity across the country. This potential to develop missing skills, build a com- prehensive public profile and to utilise remote working for international companies as a tool to stem talent flight is significant.
It will increase the level of contribution to the UK economy, foster cutting-edge skills within the domestic talent pool, and cultivate a cohort of UK-based individuals in international software development. In addition to its potential to address immediate skills shortage it may lay founda- tions for future entrepreneurs to found and lead innovative tech ventures.

Download the report at