How Microsoft is using LinkedIn and GitHub – and why you benefit

How Microsoft is using LinkedIn and GitHub - and why you benefit 13th March 2019

Microsoft has started to harvest rewards from its LinkedIn and GitHub acquisitions. It’s providing tangible benefits for Microsoft, but you can benefit too.

This June (2019), it will be 3 years since Microsoft announced it would buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. It will also be the first anniversary of another billion-dollar purchase by Microsoft: The acquisition of GitHub for $7.5 billion.

In all walks of life, we see the power of communities, and this is true for software development and developers

I have previously written about the two acquisitions separately: Why Microsoft is LinkedIn to Open Source, and Microsoft Buys GitHub and is more valuable than Google.

But what is it that these two acquisitions have in common? In one word: Communities.

Understanding Communities

Microsoft got access to a community of professionals in all different kinds of organisations as a result of buying LinkedIn.

By acquiring GitHub, Microsoft got access to a specific community of professionals; developers.

As Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella put it in a conference call with analysts just after the announcement of the GitHub acquisition:

“In all walks of life, we see the power of communities, and this is true for software development and developers.” [1]

Access to and insights into communities mean you can leverage the power of those communities.

Take the LinkedIn acquisition. Microsoft is using LinkedIn as a rich repository of data to gain insight into the business community. As Nadella put it in the conference call:

“According to LinkedIn data, software engineering roles in industries outside of tech such as retail, healthcare, and energy are seeing double-digit growth year-over-year, 25% faster than the growth of developer roles in the tech industry itself. As every company becomes a digital company, value creation and growth across every industry will increasingly be determined by the choices developers make.”

Access to LinkedIn data gave Microsoft valuable insight. Based on the analysis of LinkedIn-data, Microsoft could see the importance of developers – which influenced the decision to buy GitHub.

Community insight gives you vital information you can use in your business decisions.

Integration with Microsoft technology

Microsoft has stressed that it will not change anything that could interfere or upset the culture and values in the two communities. Especially the developer community at GitHub where some open source developers are still cautious when it comes to Microsoft’s recent embrace of open source.

However, as I have mentioned many times [2], I genuinely think Microsoft has changed since Satya Nadella took over the helm at Microsoft.

Interestingly, one of the reasons the CEO and co-founder of GitHub, Chris Wanstrath, gave for being willing to sell the company he had nurtured over the years was Microsoft’s change in attitude towards open source.

“Their work in particular on open source has been inspiring. In record time, they’ve gone from dabbling to full-on embracing the community, releasing .NET as open-source, developing VS Code in the open, and using Git internally are just a few things they’ve done that helped us decide Microsoft is the right home and the right future for GitHub.” [3]

This does not, of course, hinder Microsoft in making their products integrate smoothly with both LinkedIn and GitHub.

Benefits for you

The integration with Microsoft has already started and the benefits are real.

Examples are Microsoft Relationship Sales which combines LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 for Sales [4], the LinkedIn for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Widget [5] and the GitHub Pull-Request extension to Visual Studio Code [6].

We can expect more GitHub-integration when Visual Studio 2019 is released in April, which should make your life easier as a developer.

One of the new features in Visual Studio 2019 is IntelliCode, which is an improved IntelliSense. By analysing thousands of projects on GitHub, Microsoft has trained the IntelliCode engine so it can suggest which autocompletion is most likely to apply for your code. Read more about it in this article Microsoft connects AI, Azure, developer tools and open source.

Yes, community insight gives you valuable information you can use to improve your products, and that’s how Microsoft is using LinkedIn and GitHub.

What are your thoughts? Please comment. To get updates on Curo Talent’s blog articles, reports and videos sign-up to the Curo Bulletin below.


[1] Microsoft GitHub Conference Call – transcript
[2] Microsoft protects Linux and Open Source
[3] Microsoft and GitHub Conference Call
[4] Unify the selling experience around relationships
[5] LinkedIn for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Widget – Overview
[6] Visual Studio Code Adds a GitHub Pull Request Extension

Dan Mygind

Author: Dan Mygind

Dan is a Journalist and Computer Scientist with a strong interest in technology, technology-related businesses, and the transforming effect source code can have on society.
He has worked for startups, SMEs and global IT-organisations such as IBM as a developer, consultant, and IT-architect. With a solid technology background, he has written extensively for a wide variety of publications such as Computerworld as well as writing technical white papers for Microsoft and other companies.
He is also a published author, ‘World Storytellers

Contact Dan Mygind: mygind{at}writeit{dot}dk

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the view and opinion of Curo Services.

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