Everything a budding developer needs to know

As a software developer, you’ve no doubt come across GitHub – perhaps you’ve used it in the past or you currently rely on it for your work. If you’re new to the development world, chances are you’ve been told that GitHub is an essential tool to have in your arsenal – and rightly so because of all it has to offer. For those who haven’t yet explored GitHub, it may seem daunting at first, but fear not! Once you’re familiar with its features, using it is a breeze, making it one of Android’s best apps.


In this guide, we take a closer look at this revolutionary platform and explore its capabilities, including how it can simplify your workflow, increase productivity, and make coding more fun. So whether you plan to use your desktop, laptop or favorite Chromebook, it’s time to take your coding to the next level by learning all about how GitHub can help.

Brief history and background of GitHub

Tom Preston-Werner, Chris Wanstrath, and PJ Hyett founded GitHub in 2008. It quickly grew in popularity as a platform for hosting and sharing Git-based code repositories. The founders wanted to create a platform that made it easy for developers to collaborate on code and share their work with the world.

GitHub’s combination of useful features made it a huge success. It grew so fast that Microsoft decided to buy it in 2018 for $7.5 billion, making it one of the biggest deals of the year. This acquisition demonstrated both Microsoft’s commitment to open-source software and GitHub’s prominence in the software development world.

Overall, GitHub has an intriguing history and has played an essential role in the growth and development of the open-source software community. It’s no wonder GitHub is such an essential resource for developers around the world.

What exactly is GitHub?

GitHub is a powerful web-based platform that has become a go-to tool for millions of software developers around the world. It is a cloud-based version control repository that allows developers to manage their code, collaborate with others, and work on their projects from anywhere. You can join for free, but there are team and business plans that are better suited for larger groups and projects.

Developers can use GitHub to store, share, and work on code together, making it ideal for open source projects. The version control system allows developers to track changes to their code and revert to previous versions if necessary, which is critical to maintaining code quality and ensuring proper documentation.

GitHub is also a thriving community where millions of developers share their code and contribute to both open-source and closed-source projects. The community-driven approach has led to the creation of thousands of innovative projects that are changing the world of software development.

GitHub offers a variety of tools and features that make it easy for developers to collaborate, communicate and streamline their workflows. You can create issues, assign tasks and discuss projects with other team members. It also integrates with third-party tools such as Slack, Jira, ZenHub, Trello, and Google Collab (a web-based development tool that lets you write and run Python code).

When you start out as a software developer, it can be difficult to know what resources to invest in for things like code management, version control, and team collaboration. As you can see, GitHub is one of the best options because it integrates the most useful and valuable features from other platforms into a unified, cutting-edge platform. In addition, it has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate.

What are Git and Version Control?

Version control is an essential process for software developers to manage changes to their code over time, especially when working on complex projects with multiple contributors. This is where GitHub comes in, using a version control system called Git to help developers manage their code repositories.

Git allows developers to track every change in their code, revert to previous versions, and collaborate with others on the same codebase. This ensures everyone on the team is on the same page and it’s easy to see who made what changes and when. Git also makes it easy to merge changes made in separate branches back into the main codebase.

For example, say you are working on a project with a group of people. You can use GitHub to track changes made by each team member and merge those changes into a final version of the code. If someone makes a mistake or changes something that doesn’t work, you can use versioning to go back to an earlier version of the code and fix the problem.

Developers can also create separate code branches to work on different features or fixes without affecting the main codebase. This ensures that you don’t mess up the main code or cause problems that affect all of their users. GitHub’s version control system is truly an invaluable feature that ensures you don’t mess up your code, but if you do, you’ll have a backup if something goes wrong.

Other important features of GitHub

While all of GitHub’s great features could fill a book, here are some of the key components and features you should know about.


When you log in to GitHub, you see your dashboard. It’s a personalized page that shows your repositories, updates from GitHub, and the activity of other users you follow. You can also quickly create new repositories, join organizations, and view pull requests from your dashboard.

GitHub trending repositories


Repositories are the heart of GitHub. Repositories are where you store all your project files, including code, documentation, and other files. You can create a new public or private repository, manage its settings, and collaborate with others, similar to Google Workspace. Other users can even clone, split, or download your repositories.

Follow problem

The issue tracking system is a robust way to find and manage bugs, feature requests, and other tasks related to your projects. They are like a to-do list for your repository and you can assign them to different users, label them and organize them into milestones. Issues help you keep track of what needs to be done and who is responsible for it.


A wiki is a place where you can create and edit documentation for your repository. It can be used to store project guidelines, user manuals and other relevant information. GitHub’s wiki is built on top of a Git repository, which means you can track changes to your wiki pages just like you would with code.


GitHub’s branching feature allows developers to create separate code branches to experiment or work on different features or bug fixes. This is essential for teams working on larger projects, as it allows developers to work on different aspects of the project without interfering with each other’s code.

Pull requests

A pull request is a way to propose changes to a repository. It is used when a user wants to contribute to a project when they don’t have write access. The user can create a branch with their changes and then submit a pull request, which can then be reviewed and merged into the master branch by the repository owner.

GitHub pull request

Pull requests also allow developers to suggest changes to the code and have those changes reviewed by other team members before being merged into the main codebase. This ensures that changes are thoroughly tested and reviewed before being merged.

Code reviews

GitHub’s code review feature allows developers to review code changes made by other team members. Code reviews help ensure that the code is of high quality, has been properly tested and meets the team’s standards.

Time to join the fun

GitHub is a groundbreaking platform that has changed the way developers collaborate on projects. Its user-friendly interface, powerful collaboration tools, and version control system make it an essential tool for developers of all skill levels. Not only is it an easy way to manage your code and collaborate with others; it’s a chance to show off your hard work to the world and get valuable feedback.

With GitHub, the possibilities are endless, making it an indispensable tool for anyone creating software or pursuing a career in software development. It’s a constantly growing, vibrant community of developers changing the world, one line of code at a time. There’s no better time to join now that you know more about it.

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