According to the official GitHub website, “We’re supporting a community where more than 19 million people learn, share, and work together to build software.” The statistics posted on various websites depict that over 49 millions projects are hosted publicly on GitHub. Likewise, the online version control repository has over 10 million active users and 32 million monthly visitors.
A large percentage of web developers also visit GitHub on a regular basis to take advantage of robust code sharing and publishing services. Like other code sharing platforms, GitHub is also designed with a web-based graphical user interface (GUI). But it also provides a number of features that help developers to build websites and web applications rapidly.
Features that Make Many Web Developers Visit GitHub Regularly
At present, GitHub is the largest online hub or repository of online projects. Each project hosted on Github has its own or repository. All files related to a project are stored in its centralized repo. Hence, the developers can access all files related to a project by accessing its repo through a unique URL. The individual file repository and flexible access encourage many programmers to download web development frameworks and tools from Github instead of their official websites.
The term Git in GitHub refers to a version control system. The version system control enables store all their projects in a centralized location, and share the projects with likeminded contributions. But GitHub scores over other version control systems in the category of storing file changes and maintaining file integrity. The feature makes it easier for programmers to contribute towards improving an existing project, while clearly tracking and showing their contributions. Many web developers take advantage of this feature to contribute towards improving web development tools and services.
In addition to making changes existing open source projects, many web developers even explore ways to create a new version of the project with new features and functionality. GitHub enables web developers to fork the existing projects without any restrictions. The users can download all files related to a specific project from GitHub, and release a new version of the project as a new repo. They can further make the new version of the project available to other users instantaneously. They even have option to revise and update their own version of the project on a regular basis.
When a web developer updates a revised version of the project with new features and enhancements, he explores ways to get his work integrated with the official project or code repository. GitHub enables developers to integrate the revised version of a project into the official project by creating pull request. A developer can simply create a pull request to communicate with the project’s maintainers and request them to integrate his work into the original project. However, the maintainers of the project are free to decide about integrating the original and revised versions of the project.
A large number of web developers nowadays prefer open source web development tools and services to commercial technologies. Likewise, many developers also contribute towards improving and enhancing the open source web development tools and services. Hence, each project on Github is modified and revised by a large number of users on a regular basis. But GitHub is designed with features to track the changes and revision made by each user precisely. Hence, the web developers can make changes to any existing tool or service without keeping track of the work done by others. Many web developers take advantage of the revision tracking option to contribute towards improving/enhancing an open source project while taking credit for their work.
Social Networking Features
Github is further designed with features to act like a robust social networking platform for web developers. The smart web developers use their personal GitHub profiles as a powerful tool to interact with other users and impress prospective employers/clients. They further take advantage of the pull request feature to highlight their past work and contribution towards advanced/popular projects. The social networking feature of GitHub contributes immensely towards building the largest open source community in the world.
GitHub is hugely popular among both skilled web application developers and beginners. The students and beginners take advantage of GitHub Student Developer Pack to access wide range of web development tools and services. They further refer to the Wiki section of individual web development tools and services to learn various aspects the technologies. The education launched by GitHub makes it easier for beginners to learn and use widely used web development tools and services.
On the whole, a large percentage of web developers visit GitHub on a regular basis to download a variety of web application development frameworks and tools. Further, they avail simplify web application development by referring to the Wikis and project management tools provided by GitHub. Hence, both skilled web developers and beginners visit the online code sharing platform frequently to avail the tools required to automate common web development and testing tasks.