Tutorial – How to Use GitHub – Shiksha Online

Tutorial – How to Use GitHub – Shiksha Online

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Updated on Nov 20, 2022 21:46 IST

In this article, we focus on how to use GitHub with the help of the given use cases:

2022_03_GitHub.jpg

GitHub was launched in the year 2008 by Tom Preston-Werner, PJ Hyett, and Chris Wanstrath. Since then it has profoundly grown as a platform and in popularity among developers. Every developer must be aware of GitHub as a platform for version control. It can also have a great deal of impact on developing collaborative projects (especially open-source projects) simultaneously following best coding practices.

In this article, we will primarily explore how developers take advantage of this tool in day-to-day software product development.

  1. Version Control
  2. Graphical User Interface
  3. Collaboration
  4. Open Source Development
  5. Skill Demonstration

Let’s deep dive into each of the use cases.

1. Version Control:

Version control allows us to keep track of all the changes made by you or a team member on a file(s). As a project gets bigger, more and more files are added and modified making it humanly impossible to keep track of all these changes.

This is where Git comes in. With Git, you can store your files online as a backup. All required files can be held at a single interface and other people can add or comment on your code. On top of that, Git also stores the history of all the files, making it easier to track file or content changes.

GitHub provides a graphical interface to all the functionalities offered by Git. Take a look at the below image for reference:

Version Control
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2. Graphical User Interface:

Git is great in what it does, but it is a bit difficult to learn using git, over the terminal, especially for new developers. This is where GitHub with its graphical user interface makes it easier for developers to interact with git.

The GitHub GUI helps to perform most of the tasks related to git without firing up the terminal. Here you can also view your commits, logs, code changes, and your git repositories. 

Take a look at the below images for reference:

  • Repositories on GitHub:
Repositories on GitHub
  • Commits on GitHub:
Commits on GitHub
  • Changes on GitHub:
Changes on GitHub

3. Collaboration Tool:

GitHub has a great range of tools that supports collaboration with other developers in projects. You can also set the different access levels for different collaborators depending upon your need. For example, you can set which collaborator can directly push code to the main repository or raise a pull request for their changes.

The Fork feature allows users to create a local copy to work on of a GitHub repository. Once the user makes their changes they can either push the code directly on the main repository or raise a pull request which a project administrator reviews depending upon the access level of the user.

This kind of structure for collaboration is crucial for collaborative project development and it further supports tracking of bugs and version rollbacks.

Collaboration Tool

4. Open Source Contribution:

Most open-source projects as the name suggests are open for contribution from anyone. In an open-source project, you can just fork the project, make your changes locally, and just raise a pull request after you complete it.

The project administrator reviews this pull request. Once your changes are reviewed, they get merged with the main branch. It promotes the development of open-source projects as it facilitates contributors to contribute from anywhere around the world. 

Take a look at the below image to see some of the popular open-source projects hosted on GitHub:

Open Source Contribution

5.  Skill Demonstration:

Github is a great platform to showcase your software development skills. You can upload your project here and can share the link for the GitHub repository with your prospective employers.  

Through GitHub, the employer can check the code you contributed and the code to your personal projects. This can help them assess your problem-solving skills in the context of software development. In addition, they can assess if you are a good fit for the vacancy they are trying to fill.  

You can develop your profile through contributions to open source projects and personal projects. There is also a feature to check your Github profile. Take a look at the below image for reference:

Skill Demonstration

As you can see in the above image, your Github profile can tell all the information about your coding proficiency as they showcase all your git activities, your repositories, the number of stars that you have received from other users, and all your projects.

Conclusion:

So far we have figured out the following aspects of Github that developers use:

  1. Github can be used as a version control tool.
  2. It can also be used as a GUI alternative to Git.
  3. Github is a great tool to collaborate with other developers on projects.
  4. It is the go-to place for Open source contribution.
  5. Github also serves as a developer portfolio.

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