What is Github?

GitHub is a powerful platform that allows developers to collaborate on projects, manage version control, and share code with others. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or just starting out, learning how to use GitHub can be a valuable skill to have. In this article, we’ll go through the basics of using GitHub, including creating a repository, adding collaborators, and making commits.

How to use Github?

Creating a repository

To get started with GitHub, you’ll need to create a repository. A repository is essentially a folder that contains all of the files and code for a project. To create a repository, follow these steps:

  • Log in to your GitHub account
  • Click the “+” icon in the top-right corner of the screen
  • Select “New repository”
  • Choose a name for your repository and add a brief description
  • Select whether you want your repository to be public or private (public repositories can be seen and accessed by anyone, while private repositories require permission to view)
  • Click “Create repository”

Adding collaborators

Once you’ve created your repository, you can add collaborators to the project. Collaborators are other developers who can access and contribute to the code. To add a collaborator, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to your repository
  • Click on “Settings” in the top-right corner of the screen
  • Select “Collaborators” from the menu on the left-hand side of the screen
  • Enter the GitHub username or email address of the person you want to add as a collaborator
  • Click “Add collaborator”
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Making commits

Once you’ve added collaborators to your repository, you can start making changes to the code. Changes are made in the form of “commits,” which are essentially snapshots of the code at a specific point in time. To make a commit, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to the file you want to change
  • Click on the pencil icon in the top-right corner of the file to edit it
  • Make your changes to the code
  • Add a brief description of the changes you’ve made in the “Commit changes” section at the bottom of the page
  • Click “Commit changes”

Branches and pull requests

When working on a project with multiple collaborators, it’s important to keep track of changes and avoid conflicts in the code. One way to do this is by creating “branches” of the code, which are essentially separate versions of the code that can be worked on independently. To create a branch, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to your repository
  • Click on the “Branch” dropdown menu
  • Enter a name for your branch
  • Click “Create branch”

Once you’ve created a branch, you can make changes to the code without affecting the main branch. When you’re ready to merge your changes back into the main branch, you can create a “pull request.” Pull requests allow other collaborators to review your changes and provide feedback before they’re merged into the main branch. To create a pull request, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to your repository
  • Click on the “Pull requests” tab
  • Click “New pull request”
  • Select the branch you want to merge into the main branch
  • Add a title and description for your pull request
  • Click “Create pull request”
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Forking and cloning repositories

Another important feature of GitHub is the ability to “fork” and “clone” repositories. Forking a repository creates a copy of the repository in your own account, which you can then make changes to independently. Cloning a repository creates a local copy of the repository on your computer, which you can then work on offline. To fork or clone a repository, follow these steps:

  • To fork a repository, navigate to the repository you want to fork and click the “Fork” button in the top-right corner of the screen. This will create a copy of the repository in your own account.
  • To clone a repository, navigate to the repository you want to clone and click the green “Code” button. Then, copy the URL for the repository. Open a terminal on your computer and navigate to the directory where you want to clone the repository. Then, enter the following command:
git clone [repository URL]

This will create a local copy of the repository on your computer.

Using GitHub Desktop

If you prefer a graphical interface for working with GitHub, you can use GitHub Desktop. GitHub Desktop is a free app that allows you to manage your repositories, make commits, and collaborate with others, all through a user-friendly interface. To get started with GitHub Desktop, follow these steps:

  • Download and install GitHub Desktop from the GitHub website
  • Log in to your GitHub account through the app
  • Clone a repository to your computer by clicking the “Clone repository” button and selecting the repository you want to clone
  • Make changes to the code and commit them through the app
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GitHub Desktop also includes features like branching and merging, so you can work on multiple versions of the code without affecting the main branch.

Final words

GitHub is a powerful tool for developers and anyone interested in managing code and collaborating on projects. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can get started with GitHub and begin building your skills as a developer. Whether you’re working on a personal project or contributing to an open-source project, GitHub is a valuable resource to have in your toolkit.