Everything you need to know about GitHub

What is GitHub

GitHub is a company based in the United States, which offers software development version control service for the people in need via Git. Microsoft recently acquired GitHub. Hence, you can now call it a subsidiary of Microsoft. 

The strengths of GitHub include the ability to manage source code and go ahead with distributed version control in an effective manner. On the other hand, GitHub can also provide access control and many other collaboration features to the users, including feature requests, bug tracking, wikis, and task management. You can even find large scale software development companies using GitHub to get their work done virtually. More than 37 million users are seeking the assistance of GitHub as of now. On the other hand, GitHub has got more than 100 million repositories as well. 

Depending on your requirements, GitHub offers free enterprise and professional level accounts. Out of these accounts, the free accounts are usually being used to host open-source projects. You will now be able to receive unlimited private repositories for all GitHub plans as well. 

History of GitHub

GitHub was initially developed in the year 2008. The company went public during a tech talk session, which has held at Yahoo headquarters in 2009. Along with that, it was able to receive more than 46,000 public repositories. Out of them, around 6,200 were forked. The website was able to receive 100,000 users by the year 2009. Since then, it has experienced exponential growth. It is one of the most popular repository management and versioning control tools available for you to consider as of now. 

Understanding Git 

If you want to understand GitHub better, you should first consider what is meant by Git. Git is a version control system, which is available open-source. It was also developed by Linus Torvalds, who created Linux. 

When a developer does development on a code, they go ahead and make continuous changes to it. Hence, new versions of the same software are being released, along with new versions. There should be an efficient method to manage these versions. That’s where Git comes into play. 

When there is a version control system in place, the revisions can be done straight. In other words, all the modifications can be stored within a central repository. This can provide great assistance for multiple developers to collaborate. They are also provided with the chance to download the latest version of the software and change it. Once changes are done, a developer will be able to upload them. Then all the other developers will be able to see the latest version, along with all the changes that have been done to it. They can also download the latest version and contribute to it as well. 

People who are not into developments are also provided with the chance to download and start using them. This is quite popular among Linux users, who download appropriate files, which are needed to compile a program via the source code. 

Most of the developers prefer to stick to Git for version control. That’s because Git provides them with a series of benefits when compared to others. For example, it can store the changes to files in a more efficient manner. It can also contribute heavily to file integrity. 

Understanding Hub 

Now you have a better understanding of what is meant by Git in GitHub. Along with that understanding, you should also take a look at what is meant by Hub. 

Git is a command-line tool. The functionality delivered by it rotates around Hub. That’s where GitHub comes into play. In other words, developers will be able to use GitHub to store the projects and network along with other like-minded people. 

Why is GitHub popular? 

Here is a list of some of the biggest reasons why people tend to use GitHub. 

  • Repository 

Repository, also known as the repo, is where all the files related to a specific project are being stored. Every single project has a repo of its own. You will be able to access this repo with the help of the unique URL linked with it. 

  • Forking a repo

When you create a new project using an existing project as the base, you will be forking a repo. This is one of the most outstanding features that you can find as well. It encourages the additional development of other projects. When you come across a project where you can contribute to GitHub, you will be able to go ahead and fork the repo. Then you can do developments and introduce appropriate changes to it. After doing the changes, you can release it as a revised project. 

  • Pull requests 

Once you fork a repository, you will create an excellent new version of a project. You will come across the need to get that appreciated and recognized by the original developer as well. You will also come across the need to get that included in the official repository and project as well. You will be able to do it with the assistance of a pull request. Then the author of the original repository will be able to see the work that you have done. The original developer also has the ability to accept the changes that you have done to the original project or reject them. 

Final Words 

GitHub is not just designed and developed for the use of developers out there. You can go ahead and use GitHub for the storage of many other file types as well. However, this practice is not so common in today’s world. In other words, developers are getting the most use out of GitHub. For more information on this subject, you can read GitHub For Dummies and  Introducing GitHub: A Non-Technical Guide.