GitHub: An Overview

GitHub: An Overview
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Written by Debarghya DasDecember 10, 2021
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Debarghya Das

Junior Front-End Developer

In this tutorial, you guys know about what is GitHub and its pros and cons.

About GitHub

GitHub, Inc. is a provider of Internet hosting for software development and version control using Git. It offers the distributed version control and source code management (SCM) functionality of Git, plus its own features. It provides access control and several collaboration features such as bug tracking, feature requests, task management, continuous integration, and wikis for every project. Headquartered in California, it has been a subsidiary of Microsoft since 2018.

It is commonly used to host open-source projects.[6] As of November 2021, GitHub reports having over 73 million developers and more than 200 million repositories (including at least 28 million public repositories). It is the largest source code host as of November 2021.

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What is a Version Control System?

The Git version control system, as the name suggests, is a system that records all the modifications made to a file or set of data so that a specific version may be called up later if needed. The system makes sure that all the team members are working on the file’s latest version, and everyone can work simultaneously on the same project.

Before we dig deeper into what GitHub is, we must examine first what the ‘Git’ part is all about.

What is Git?

Git is a version control system used for tracking changes in computer files, making it a top-rated utility for programmers world-wide. Git can handle projects of any size.

Git is utilized to facilitate the work process among project colleagues and keep tabs on their development over the long run. It likewise helps the two software engineers and non-specialized clients by monitoring their task documents. Git permits different clients to cooperate without upsetting each other's work.

Since you've been acquainted with Git, you have the establishment expected to get what is GitHub better.

What is GitHub?

GitHub is a Git repository hosting service that provides a web-based graphical interface. It is the world’s largest coding community. Putting a code or a project into GitHub brings it increased, widespread exposure. Programmers can find source codes in many different languages and use the command-line interface, Git, to make and keep track of any changes.

GitHub helps every team member work together on a project from any location while facilitating collaboration. You can also review previous versions created at an earlier point in time.

So now we know what Git and GitHub are. Time to gain a better understanding of the importance and relevance of what is GitHub by exploring its features.

GitHub Features Included

  1. Easy Project Management: GitHub is a place where project managers and developers come together to coordinate, track, and update their work so that projects are transparent and stay on schedule.
  2. Increased Safety With Packages: Packages can be published privately, within the team, or publicly to the open-source community. The packages can be used or reused by downloading them from GitHub.
  3. Effective Team Management: GitHub helps all the team members stay on the same page and organized. Moderation tools like Issue and Pull Request Locking help the team to focus on the code.
  4. Improved Code Writing: Pull requests help the organizations to review, develop, and propose new code. Team members can discuss any implementations and proposals through these before changing the source code.
  5. Increased Code Safety: GitHub uses dedicated tools to identify and analyze vulnerabilities to the code that other tools tend to miss. Development teams everywhere work together to secure the software supply chain, from start to finish.
  6. Easy Code Hosting: All the code and documentation are in one place. There are millions of repositories on GitHub, and each repository has its own tools to help you host and release code.

GitHub Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Version Control: GitHub, being built over Git, makes it fast and easy to develop projects in versions/branches and easily rollback to previous versions when necessary.
  • Pull Requests/Review: GitHub has a powerful UI for creating pull requests, with useful tools like inline commenting and more recently "suggested changes". Pull request history is always maintained and easy to search.
  • Collaboration/Auditing: It's easy for multiple team members to work on the same project and merge changes (often) seamlessly. All contributions are tracked so it's easy to identify contributors.
  • Industry Standard: GitHub is used by virtually all major open source projects so it's very easy to find and contribute to projects of interest if you're well versed with GitHub.

Cons

  • Reviewing large pull requests can be tedious and it can be tough to identify recent changes (e.g. a one line change) in new files or files with lots of changes.
  • It should be a bit harder to push unresolved merge conflicts, we've had these slip through once in awhile.
  • You have to be careful with merge operations; a bad merge can be painful to reverse.

How Do You Use Git and GitHub?

  • Create your GitHub account.
  • Create a repository or “repo” for short. This is where you store your code.
  • Build a file.
  • Make a commit. Whenever you create a file or change it, you create a Git commit to store the new version.
  • Connect your repo with your computer system.

GitHub Competitor's

The market provides many alternatives and competitors to GitHub. The top ten competitors are:

  • Bitbucket
  • Google Cloud Source Repositories
  • Phabricator
  • GitLab
  • Gogs
  • Gitea
  • SourceForge
  • Apache Allura
  • Launchpad
  • AWS CodeCommit

Enroll in DevOps Engineer Master’s Program and learn to work on tools like Docker, Git, Jenkins, Puppet & Nagios.

Conclusion

We hope this article has helped you understand GitHub’s relevance. You learned the basics of a version control system and how Git works. We explored why GitHub’s features make it such a vital resource, then wrapped up by listing GitHub’s alternatives and competition.

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GitHub Overview
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Debarghya Das
Junior Front-End Developer
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