What is GitHub? Uses, Features & Benefits

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Oct 16, 2023

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GitHub is a cloud-based platform that assists programmers in storing and organizing their code and tracking modifications. The following two principles are necessary to understand what 

GitHub is:

  • Version control
  • Git

What does "Version Control" mean?

Version control helps programmers keep track of and deal with changes to the code of a software application. The need for version control expands as the scope of a software project increases.

Version control enables secure branching and merging for developers. A developer repeats some source code using branching (called the repository). The programmer can then modify that program code without disrupting the remaining portion of the work.

Finally, the programmer can integrate the code section into the prime source code, making it legitimate.

What is Git?

Linus Torvalds developed Git in 2005. It is a unique open-source version management system.

Because the whole codebase and its history are stored on each developer's operating system, Git makes it simple to branch and merge initiatives.

What is GitHub used for?

GitHub is an open platform for application development that stores, tracks, and collaborates on software projects online. It gives programmers the right to post their source codes and collaborate with other programmers working on open-source initiatives. GitHub is also a social media platform where developers may easily collaborate, network, and promote their work.

Since its inception in 2008, GitHub has amassed millions of users and become the platform of choice for collaborative software development. The service is free and has several features that make it easy to share code and work with other people simultaneously.

In addition to its code-related features, GitHub enables users to create a personal identity and brand. Visit any user's profile to see what projects they've contributed to and what they have in their arsenal. There are several benefits of using GitHub, including fostering a collaborative process for developing software and websites.

What are the Features of GitHub?

  1. Simple project organization – GitHub is a collaborative platform where development teams can collaborate, analyze, and update the activity to keep initiatives transparent and on schedule.
  2. Enhancement of package security – You can publish packages securely within your team or the general public. Downloading the packages from GitHub makes them available for use or reuse.
  3. Effective team leadership – GitHub assists teammates in maintaining consistency and organization. For example, locking Issues and Pull Requests enable the team to concentrate on the code.
  4. Coding improvements – Pull requests assist businesses with the review process, development, and proposal. Before modifying the source code, teammates can review implementations and ideas through these interfaces.
  5. Improved code security – GitHub employs specialized technologies to uncover and evaluate code deficiencies that other tools frequently miss. Development teams worldwide collaborate to safeguard the whole software supply chain.
  6. Simple code hosting – Coding and documentation are centralized. Each repository on GitHub has its set of tools for hosting and releasing code.

What is the purpose of GitHub?

GitHub enables programmers and professionals to develop free cloud-based remote public-facing repositories. Once you create a repository, you can move it to your computer system, add and alter files remotely, and then "push" your switches back to the repository, where they are made public.

1) Collaboration improvement – The greatest feature of GitHub is its collection of teamwork functionality, like version control. GitHub provides a centralized location where multiple programmers can collaborate on a task without concern of overwriting one another's efforts or losing track of data.


2) File organization – GitHub overlays Git with an elegant graphical user interface (GUI). Git functions independently through the use of the command line. Although developers are familiar with the command line, many find that it is necessarily the most productive approach to deal with files in their projects.

The interface of GitHub provides a simple and transparent method for performing Git operations and viewing file history. This is easier for developers to use and makes it easier for people just starting with Git to understand. In addition to its cloud-based architecture, GitHub's accessibility is enhanced by its cloud-based platform.

A GitHub user's repository can be accessed from anywhere and on any device, and updates can be downloaded and pushed to the repository. As a result, you are not constrained to using a single device or operating system when you use GitHub.

3) Using social networks – You can do many other things with GitHub, as any regular user would confirm. For example, everyone on GitHub has a profile, which they may use to show off their work, contributions, and other site activity to the public.

The social network that GitHub offers is essential to the platform's success since it inspires developers to investigate and participate in various open-source initiatives.

What is Github and how to use it: A Quick Guide

GitHub is user-friendly and has a quick and simple process flow. Only terminology like "fork," "clone, pull requests, etc." must be familiarized to proceed.

Let's discover how to use GitHub -

1. Install Git. Git is required if you want to use your GitHub repository. There are several ways to accomplish this, so explore the Git site for guidance. Git is a free software package.

2. Once you have Git installed, navigate to the GitHub site and sign up for an account by entering your email id.

3. When your GitHub account has been successfully created, you will be brought to your dashboard. Select the "Create repository" button on the left side of the screen to initiate the setup of your first database.

4. On the screen that mentions "Create a new repository," type in the repository's name and, if you want, a description.

5. Add your project's README file, which will eliminate unnecessary files and a license on the same window.

6. Select the "Create repository" option. You'll be redirected to your repository's home page, where you can see all of your content.

7. GitHub allows you to "copy" the repository so that you can modify your files locally and then "push" your changes back to the Repository. Your repository's HTTPS URL can be found by clicking the green Code tab at the top of your repository screen.

8. Open a terminal window and proceed to where you want to save your repository's file.

9. Type git clone into the terminal's search bar. Then, paste the URL of the source that you already copied.

10. The Enter key will copy the resource. You'll see that a new file containing the name of your repositories has been introduced to the filesystem on your device. If you open up this file, you'll notice that it includes all the files stored on GitHub. These are copies of the files that you can change and then push back.

11. Create a new one in the copied directory and push it to GitHub. Next, make a new text file with the name hello.txt in your local clone. Type the text "Hello, world!", copy and paste it into it, and then save the file.

12. Open your copied file in the terminal.

13. Type git add., and click Enter in the gateway. By doing this, your cloned source is now ready for a push.

14. Enter git commit in the port. Modifications made here will be saved in the changelog. The text enclosed in quotation marks is a brief statement explaining the commitment's motivation.

15. Enter git push source and click Enter.

16. When you return to your Github, your new file will be there.

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GitHub isn't just for developers:

GitHub's functionalities may be aimed at developers, but many other organizations may also use it. For example, novice software engineers can readily track and learn from modifications made by others to the codebase.

Forking is one of the primary functionalities of GitHub. Forking enables you to transfer a complete repository from another user's account and move it with your own, granting you write access. After making modifications, you can notify the owner, who can merge or delete them.

Benefits of using GitHub:

  1. It serves as a backup for your files.
  2. It provides a visual representation of your repositories, allowing you to find what you're looking for easily.
  3. It allows others to navigate your repositories.
  4. It makes it simple to collaborate on repositories.
  5. It gives you access to an easy bug tracking system.
  6. Put your projects on GitHub so that everyone can see what good code you write.
  7. Look at the projects of other individuals on GitHub to get ideas for more coding or help them out.
  8. Collaborate by allowing others to participate in your initiatives or by contributing to the initiatives of others.
  9. Keep useful lists. 


Before beginning work on new projects, it is recommended that you become familiar with GitHub by opening pull requests within the individual repository and manually merging them. You'll learn how to use and customize GitHub Actions for your workflow during this DevOps Training. An experienced practitioner's DevOps certification is a stepping stone to real-world success.

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