Consistency is a good thing. It’s nice (though increasingly rare) to have the same username on all the sites you use on the web. But unless you’ve got some random mashing of letters and numbers, it’s difficult to ‘nab’ your preferred username.

When I joined GitHub, this was the case for me. awolski was gone, so I had to opt for akwolski instead. Now you might say “big deal, it’s only on letter.” But it irked me nonetheless. I own awolski.com. My Twitter handle is awolski (although I rarely tweet). I use awolski on Bitbucket.

I wanted awolski on GitHub!

So when I saw recently that the username awolski on GitHub didn’t appear to be being used, I researched what it would take to get it. A Google search for github username already taken brought up a result linking to GitHub’s name squatting policy. Boom… just what I was looking for. I clicked on the Contact a human button and typed out my request.

Hi,

I’m enquiring about whether username awolski can be released? The user who has registered that username doesn’t look to have any activity, and seeing as I own the domain (awolski.com), twitter handle et al. and will be starting a business using that name.

Would just like to know whether this would be possible.

Regards, Tony

And I was so pleasantly surprised to get a response later that same night:

Hi Anthony,

Sure! We happily release unused usernames into the wild. I’ve reviewed this account, and deemed it dusty, so I’ve made the username available to you. If you want to create an organization, the name will be available.

You can change your username by following the guide here: https://help.github.com/articles/changing-your-github-username

Be aware, after you change your name, you will need to update the remotes in any local clones of your repositories to point at your new repository URL.

Also, grab the name quick, as it’s now publicly available to anyone.

Cheers, Chris

Fabulous customer service.