With over 10 years under its belt, Github is one of the most visited websites in the world and boasts 36 million users and 100 million code repositories. It’s a website that wraps “Git” (a software version control system) and allows developers to host their code online for free (there are paid models available as well). It’s basically a place to store, exchange, trade, and talk code.
Github has become, over the last decade, the world’s largest software development platform. It provides cloud storage for source code and supports all of the most popular programming languages. It also streamlines iteration.
There’s a lot to love about Github, but why it’s so popular boils down to five main reasons for developers. If you’re a developer, you probably love Github because:
It’s Open Source
Github is an open-source platform, which means:
- It doesn’t cost anything to use it and
- The surrounding community is what fuels its growth and functionality
There are literally millions of programmers (both professionals and hobbyists) that download, review, and evaluate each other’s work. It’s not just basement devs either. Large corporations like Microsoft (who acquired Github in 2018 for $7.5B), AirBnB, PayPal, IBM and others also love Github.
The solution offers a central location that allows developers to collaborate more easily on pretty much anything.
It has Version Control
Github tracks all of the changes made to your code and who changed them. Think of it as document tracking in MS Office or Google Drive. It allows you to review a change log at any time and the platform hosts all of the information for you.
Having a version history is a necessity when collaboration is happening on projects, especially when there are dozens of collaborators involved.
This also makes it easy for remote workers. The solution allows for global ad-hoc collaborations and continues to be a game-changer for remote coding to an increasingly remote workforce.
It’s a strong community with powerful collaboration capabilities
Because of its impressively sizeable community of 36 million (and counting), posting your code on Github gives you unmatched exposure and insight. Gaining insight on your own code is just the beginning. You can also discover code written by others and both learn from it or use it in your own projects.
It really is the community that fuels the platform, with millions of developers and hobbyists downloading, reviewing and evaluating each other. The entire system is a hive of collaboration with the goal to make all coding stronger and relevant to the larger community.
It’s got flexible graphical interfaces
The platform comes with built-in GUI tools for committing and browsing (git-gui and gitk). There are also several other third-party tools for users that need a platform-specific experience. Browsing through the Git Wiki will allow developers to uncover all kinds of interfaces, frontends, and tools to help them work smarter.
It’s got super-useful plugins and APIs to make it even more user-friendly
Speaking of working smarter, Github also has plugins that can help teams and developers simplify processes. Bitband, for example, offers a plugin to connect GitHub and Jira, that want to track commits on either platform. Bitband allows developers to:
- Quickly load repos with detailed logging of repo indexing
- Instantly connect to Github, Gitlab, and Bitbucket to automatically sync repos, branches, and commits
- Add any Jira issue ID to a commit (that will instantly be visible in Jira)
- See all commit details in Jira, including source code diffs
- For each issue at a project level, see commit summaries, number of lines added/deleted, updated files, users that have submitted work, dates/times, first and last commit, etc.
The bottom line: if you’re a developer, there’s a lot of reasons to be using Github. 36 million users can’t be wrong!
Want more Bitband insights? Check out:
- How Jira makes us lose so much time, and how to avoid it
- Project Management Best Practices for Controlling Project Budgets
- Best Practices for Stakeholder Engagement Before, During, and After Projects
- A Project Manager’s Best Practices for a Project Takeover
- Best Practices for Project Managers Trying to Avoid Scope Creep