Why use GitHub?

A few days back, I had the honor to introduce someone to GitHub. What has me wondering is that I didn’t have to do it for a newcomer rather I explained what is GitHub to a someone who has been in software development field for quite a while.

Are there real people out there who haven’t heard the word “GitHub” before? Following is what I replied to the person of interest:


“Please also belabor for me in as many words as your will prefers, why it will be worth my time to find more about GitHub.”

This should be interesting. The basic would be that it is remote git hosting service. Each repository is given a project space. Each project has a bug tracker associated with it, a space for pull requests (git patch), milestones, tasks, changelog etc. Since public projects are free to host on GitHub, it has become de-facto hosting platform for open source projects.
Why should you care? Every organization needs a tool for all its developers to collaborate. GitHub can be that tool for you. On GitHub you can create an organization space and have your developers be part of it. You can define permission levels within the organization . Projects can have permission levels as well. So basically if your organization doesn’t want to deal with hassle of maintaining a git server and a collaboration tool on top of it then you can just let GitHub manage it all. BTW, if you are one of those miserable souls who have to use SVN, GitHub supports that as well.


Illustration by jeejkang
Okay, enough of mundane talk. Let me introduce you to interesting stuff. GitHub is place we developers hang out. You can follow others and see what they are working on, that is really cool cause everyone is on GitHub. You can follow the developers you worship and see what they have worked on and if they inspire you enough, you can work along side them (cause open source!!).  It is also the place for the happening things. Think of any new technology which has come in last 5 years, it is most likely that is being developed on GitHub. Angular.Js, Jquery, Bootstrap, Go, RustRails, Reacthomebrew, node and everything else, all of it is on GitHub.
Moving on to libraries and frameworks!! All the awesome code others have already written, repositories we love ❤ Have you really never dealt with a bug in library you wanted to use? Using GitHub, you can ask the maintainers of that library to fix the bug for you. In fact they will appreciate that you took the time to report it. redis, emscripten from C, httpie, thefuck from Python, elasticsearch, RxJava from Java, tensorflow, mongo from C++, jekyll and devise from Ruby and once again list goes on. All of them are developed on GitHub.


I know GitHub is much more than what I wrote. I missed the platform it provides for publishing your awesome hack: HomeMirror, building courses for everyone: FreeCodeCamp, collection of free books: free-programming-books,  a command-line murder mystery : clmystery, all German federal laws and regulations (seriously?): gesetze. I really don’t think I will ever be able to describe this wonderland and not miss something really cool. If there are more of you out there, I hope you will find it useful and you will take GitHub for a spin. We love GitHub, I hope you will too. I really can’t it say it any better than what James said in his Dear GitHub post:


“Dear GitHub,

You have done so much to grow the open source community and make it really accessible to users. Somehow you have us chasing stars and filling up squares, improving the world’s software in the process.”

Why use GitHub?