You would have definitely heard of GitHub whether you are a software developer or not. The experienced developers swear by this service, while there are still a lot of people who don’t know what exactly Github is.
In case you are a beginner software developer, it is an absolute necessity that you learn about Github and starts using it for all your development projects, especially when you are collaborating with a team.
In short, Github is a web-based platform for storing, collaborating, sharing, testing and publishing open-source software development projects.
This is actually a boon for open source developers because they can simply upload their code to GitHub’s centralized system and share it with a vibrant community of similarly minded professionals. This way you can test, debug and improve upon your code by collaborating with experienced people.
The main advantage of Github is its revolutionary version control system, which makes the revision and publishing of new versions a piece of cake.
You can simply download the code of any open-source software, make changes to it and share on Github again as a branched version or request the original publisher to merge the changes.
Let’s have a look at these features of Github.
Store your code in centralized cloud server
You can upload the code that you have written for your software development project in Github’s repository. It is a specific URL-based location for each project where you can store and retrieve the files for that project.
Once your code is on Github you can share it with your own team of developers as well as the whole Github community, which is quite social and helpful.
This way other people can contribute towards your project and help it in making it much bigger and feature-rich. You can decide which changes to keep, which to include in the next version or not to include. Similarly, you can also look towards other people’s work and start working on those projects that interest you. Besides, testing and debugging your code is easier too.
Forking refers to the branching out of a particular open source software project into another direction of development. This is another powerful feature that leads to developing of better programs with drastically different features than the original one.
Simply download the open-source code and start your development. Once you are done, share it again with the community for their feedback and contribution. For example, OpenOffice was forked from StarOffice and was further forked into LibreOffice.
Contribute to Other Projects
So you have downloaded the code for a project that you like and made some changes in it or added some more features to it as per your liking. If you think this is a significant improvement and can contribute to the progress of the project, you can share the changes with the original developer through a pull request. This way you can communicate with them and if approved, you will be credited as a contributor on that project. How’s that for your portfolio?
Multiple Version Control
This is the flagship feature of Github. When a lot of developers are working on the same project at the same time, it’s hard to keep track of the multitude of versions created. Github tracks all these changes and handles the revision control beautifully.
Suitable for files other than software code
While most people use Github for their software development projects, it works quite well for other projects like excel sheets and word documents too. Although, it is not very popular for these uses as there are other specialized software or platforms for those tasks. But if multiple people are working on a single file, you can rest assured that Github would be a good choice for a collaborating platform.
If you are a software developer, web developer or working on any other project that requires collaboration, you should definitely use Github. No wonder millions of people swear by this simple yet powerful platform.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH US!