Everything you need to know about GitHub: what it is and how to use it


GitHub is the largest social network for programmers that currently exists. The platform provides a cloud service in which code projects can be hosted collaboratively. In recent years GitHub has grown so much that It has more than 25 million registered developers.

In this post we are going to explain what GitHub is, how it works, its main features and functionalities, how to create an account and manage projects, as well as the most important uses that developers give it to this platform. If you are a programmer, you should consider using GitHub to manage your source code projects.

What is GitHub and how does it work?

Github Features

GitHub is a platform that hosts the source code of software projects, allowing collaboration and version control through Git. It was created in 2008 and acquired by Microsoft in 2018 for $7.500 billion. A sum that gives an idea of ​​the great relevance of this platform in the world of software development.

To understand GitHub, we first need to know what Git is. Git is a version control system (VCS) distributed that allows managing changes in a computer project. Maintain a history of all modifications to facilitate collaborative work.

GitHub uses Git as a version control system. That is, it is an online graphical interface that takes advantage of all the power of Git and adds extra collaborative functionalities, such as the option to follow other users, notifications, workflow based on pull requests, wikis, incident management, etc.

Projects on GitHub are hosted in repositories. A repository is like a folder for your project, where you can They store all files and change history. There are public or private repositories. Public ones allow any GitHub user to access the source code, while private ones are only available to designated collaborators.

Other notable features of GitHub They include forks or forks of a repository, wikis for documentation, GitHub Pages for creating project websites, and gists for sharing code snippets and text. Open source projects hosted on GitHub have even been developed as alternatives to traditional application stores, such as F-Droid, an alternative to Google Play Store.

How to create an account and get started on GitHub

More on Github.

To use GitHub, you must first create a user account. Registration is free, all you need is a username, email address and password. When setting up your profile, you can add information such as your name, company, location, and personal website.

Once you have created an account, you can establish new repositories to host your software projects. You can also import existing projects to your computer. Repositories can be public or private.

To upload a local project to the platform, first of all you must create the remote repository from the GitHub interface. Then in your local project folder, you initialize Git with git init, add the files with git add ., commit with git commit -m "first commit" and finally upload your code by doing git push origin master.

We advise you to configure your GitHub profile with your personal and professional data to create your personal brand as a programmer. Other users will be able to learn about your work and your skills.

Main uses of GitHub for developers

Github Kitten.

Some of the most important uses that professional developers give to GitHub are:

  • Collaborative work as a team when several programmers work on the same project from different locations.
  • Platform for open source projects where anyone can contribute freely.
  • Work portfolio for show your skills as a programmer through the projects you share.
  • Recruiters use this platform to find and evaluate candidates in tech selection processes.
  • Learning examining the source code of other programmers in public projects.
  • There are Work offers published directly on GitHub for developers.
  • Allows you to professionally manage the software project development cycle.

Knowing how GitHub works is an essential skill today for any software developer.

Plans and costs

Github pricing and plans.

GitHub offers basic functionality for free in its freemium model while in its paid version it provides more advanced plans aimed at teams and organizations.

In the free version you can create unlimited public repositories and unlimited collaborators, with up to 1GB of storage space.

For professional teams and projects, the platform offers payment plans such as Team and Enterprise with premium features:

  • Unlimited private repositories
  • Expanded storage space
  • Unlimited collaborators
  • Advanced team and project management tools
  • advanced technical support
  • Enhanced security and access controls

The Team plan costs $4 dollars per user per month and allows you to create small and medium teams. The Enterprise plan has a monthly cost of almost $20 dollars, but can also be tailored to the needs of large organizations and includes other functionality and costs.

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