The only way to possibly understand GitHub in its entirety is first to understand Git. Git is an open-source version control system.
What is a Version Control System?
Now, what is a version control system? When developers collaborate to build software, they would naturally be constantly making changes to the software, resulting in new versions. A version control system helps keep these revisions straight. It stores all the modifications in a central database, allowing developers easy collaboration. They can download the latest software, make changes, and quickly upload.
Git, in particular, is the preferred version control system used by most developers due to its efficient file storage and excellent branching capabilities.
This is where the Brilliance of GitHub kicks in
Github.com simply put, is a platform where developers can share their projects with other creative individuals. Now, what makes GitHub so unique. There are several different alternatives like SourceForge and Launchpad. What makes GitHub so endearing?
Github is so endearing because of….
The Fork Factor
GitHub offers a novel feature called “forking”. You can create your unique project based on another pre-existing program. Forking is a fantastic feature that encourages the development of new programs and software. Forking works seamlessly with another one of GitHub’s great features, namely, Repositories.
GitHub offers you the use of their unique “repository”, usually abbreviated to “repo”. Every project has its unique repository that you can access with a custom URL. You can classify them as public and private, and you choose how your program is initialized. You can even have as many repositories as you want.
The social networking aspect of GitHub is one of its most appealing features. Every user has a profile that shows all of your past work and promotes your skillset. Now consider collaboration before GitHub. Developers would have to collaborate via email, convincing the authors of their diverse skillset and legitimacy. GitHub helps simplify all this. GitHub provides you with excellent opportunities to even get recognized, which brings us to its next feature.
Consider the following situation. You are a passionate developer, assured of your skills. You have just made an excellent revision to a project on GitHub. How do you get recognition? You issue a pull request. A pull request is, quite simply, a notice to the authors of the original project that highlights your work and gives them a choice to admit it into their project or not. If you ever need to communicate with the primary authors, GitHub provides a comprehensive medium.
When multiple individuals collaborate on a large-scale project, it can be challenging to establish who made which change. GitHub resolves this dilemma by providing a log of all changes made. It gives an entirely accurate report, sorting by date and time.
Not only for developers
In fact, GitHub is so comprehensive; you could even utilize it for any file format. For example, you could even use it for editing a word document with a group. This practice is, truth be told, quite rare, as there are better alternatives in nearly every use case, but it’s good to know. In all Github is every developer’s favorite platform because it is completely User-centric and its features have made dozens of their lives a tad bit easier.