Git Tutorial

What is GitHub? Explained With Main Uses and Benefits

Table of Contents

  • What is GitHub?
  • Features of GitHub
  • What is GitHub Used For?
  • Top GitHub Alternatives
  • Top Benefits of GitHub Over Other Competitors

What is GitHub?

GitHub is a web-based repository hosting service. It is primarily used for computer code. That may sound intimidating, but don't worry! It's incredibly simple to use and can be applied to practically any project or area of expertise.

Git was originally developed by Linus Torvalds, who is the creator of Linux, but it has since been expanded and improved upon by GitHub, a company founded by Chris Wanstrath, PJ Hyett, Tom Preston-Werner, and Scott Chacon in 2008.

Features of GitHub

GitHub functions as both a social networking site for developers and a way for them to host their projects online. The website has over 10 million users and hosts more than three-and-a-half million repositories.

On GitHub, people can create accounts and submit repositories that other users can access and view through their profile pages. These repositories can then be "forked" by other users, which means they have their own copy of the repository on their account page. 

This allows users to make changes to the code in the repository while it is still public and then choose whether or not they want to merge their changes back into the original repository.

What is GitHub Used For?

GitHub is a version management and collaboration tool for programming. It allows you and others to collaborate on projects from any location.

GitHub is a social network of sorts: it lets you connect with coworkers, employers, clients and coworkers. You can follow their work publicly or privately, as well as find others who might be able to help you with your own projects. This goes beyond a simple messaging system: there's also an issue tracker that allows you to easily report bugs in projects (or add new features) through the site.

This makes it easy for someone to take an issue that's been reported by many people and prioritize its fixing in the development cycle. It's also the perfect place to include public documentation about your project so that those who are interested in working with it can learn more about it and get started right away.

GitHub has become a resource for many companies, so much so that it's difficult to find one that doesn't use its services in some way. Even if they aren't hosting their code on GitHub, many of them have public repositories where they upload their code in order to share it with the community and solicit feedback.

Top GitHub Alternatives

Here are top 10 famous alternatives for GitHub:

  1. GitLab

  2. Bitbucket

  3. Gitbucket

  4. AWS codeCommit

  5. Sourceforge

  6. Google Cloud Source Repositories

  7. Phabricator

  8. Gitea

  9. Apache Allura

  10. Launchpad

Top Benefits of GitHub Over Other Competitors

1. It makes contributing to open-source projects simple

To be honest, practically every open-source project is managed through GitHub. If your product is open source, GitHub is free to use and includes a wiki and issue tracker that makes providing more thorough documentation and receiving feedback a breeze.

To contribute, simply fork a project, make your changes, and submit a pull request via the GitHub web interface.

2. Provide documentation 

You make it easy to get quality documentation by using GitHub. They provide articles on practically every issue related to Git that you can think of in their help section and tutorials.

3. Showcase your efforts

Do you want to attract recruiters as a developer? GitHub is the most reliable tool for this. Most firms now check GitHub profiles while looking for fresh hires for their projects. 

Even if you did not attend a top university or college, if your profile is available, you will have a better chance of being hired.

4. Use markdown

Markdown allows you to write styled texts using a simple text editor. GitHub has revolutionized writing by using Markdown for everything, including the issue tracker and user comments. With so many other computer languages to master for setting up projects, having your content inputted in a format without having to understand it is a huge benefit.

5. GitHub is a file-sharing platform

This has previously been noted, but it's worth repeating: GitHub is a repository.

This means that it permits your work to be seen by the whole audience. Furthermore, GitHub is currently one of the largest coding communities, giving your project a lot of exposure.

6. Keep track of changes in your code over time

When multiple individuals collaborate on a project, keeping track of who changed what, when, and where those files are stored can be tough. GitHub solves this problem by keeping track of all the changes that were uploaded to the repository. 

You can have a version history of your code, the same as how you can with Microsoft Word or Google Drive.

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