Beginner GitHub Guide

What is GitHub?

This is a beginner-oriented article about why should we use and upload our codes to the GitHub. Here are my answers to you. Hope it can give you a better understanding and start to commit your projects there.

I guess that you might have heard of GitHub somedays in the past, but you have no idea what is it, so you came to this article. I will try to explain What and Why GitHub to you by my best.

What is GitHub?

GitHub can be seen as a cloud like Microsoft OneDrive, but it allows the programmers to share codes, search codes, download codes, and like codes. It is similar to what we do on Facebook, just the contents are different.

  • Watch: Notification options. It offers “Not watching”, “Releases only”, “Watching”, and “Ignoring”.
  • Stars: Likes on Instagram && thumbs up on Messenger
  • Fork: Copy and clone the repository (project) to your account. This feature is used to modify the project and it is important when you are coding in a team. The “fork” feature will be discussed in more detail later in this article.

Is GitHub free?

Yes! Personal GitHub account is free and it comes with unlimited storage. You are free to create both public and private repositories as long as you need. In addition, the GitHub group recommends keeping repositories small, ideally less than 1 GB. It is because smaller repositories are faster to clone and easier to work with and maintain. Individual files in a repository are strictly limited to a 100 MB maximum size limit. More info.

According to my records until now, the largest repository is just weighted around 4.28Mb with images and some more testing files in the repo, but it seems to be hard to exceed 100Mb somehow.

What is a repository (repo)?

A repository can be seen as a project main files which you can store all your related folders and files (including images and video clips with size < 100Mb).

  • Overview: a page that shows your pinned repositories (similar to the Instagram highlighted stories on your page), contribution counters and contribution activities.
  • Repositories & Projects: your saved project folders
  • Packages: A place to store your created NPM packages. NPM stands for Node packages Manager, which you might learn during NodeJS production.
  • Stars: All repo that you have starred will be recorded here.
  • Followers and Followings: LOL, you must know it~

What is the difference between a repo and a project?

Basically, they are same, just the project dashboard has more management features to let you work on your project (open-source projects or company projects) easier.

As far as I could say, as a beginner or personal use, storing your code on repositories will be more than enough. However, it is sure to explore more on yourself :)

A Repository as documented on GitHub:

A repository is the most basic element of GitHub. They’re easiest to imagine as a project’s folder. A repository contains all of the project files (including documentation), and stores each file’s revision history. Repositories can have multiple collaborators and can be either public or private.

A Project as documented on GitHub:

Project boards on GitHub help you organize and prioritize your work. You can create project boards for specific feature work, comprehensive roadmaps, or even release checklists. With project boards, you have the flexibility to create customized workflows that suit your needs.

Why do we need to use GitHub then?

You might ask, “yes it is free and unlimited repo and storage, then?”

Here are some reasons for you if you want to be a programmer who works with people and companies.

  1. Knowing GitHub is a plus if you want to join companies because the majority is using GitHub as code storage. You might need to clone and push a lot in the future. Also, much more things you need to know as a team member. Functions like clone and push will be discussed later on.
  2. GitHub could be one of your resume parts. I have heard that some interviewers will go to your GitHub for getting a better understanding of your abilities. Similar to those “stalker” seeing your FB comments and pages…
  3. GitHub will track every code you committed to the cloud which means that you can easily know what codes have been changed (a before and after function). It is extremely useful when you work with a team.

This is my favourite feature that it keeps tracking your commitment each time. It let me know my progress and gets motivated to code everyday~

Is GitHub hard to use?

Not really. GitHub has released its desktop application which allows us to drag and upload the files to our GitHub cloud. So… I don't think it is hard to use. The installation is not complicated, choose your preferences and OK for the program to finish running. Also, it allows to directly upload through GitHub webpage.

Besides, I prefer the traditional way of interacting (the most popular way) is to use Bash on Mac or Command Prompt (CMD) on Windows. It has some common codes to remember and it just simply make things easier because you will start using Bash or CMD a lot while you learning to code. Remember: to use Git on Bash or CMD, you must install the Git on your machine. I will share some of the basic codes in the next article.

Thank you for reading here. I hope my article could give you some ideas on GitHub. My next article will discuss some of the common use of git commands on Bash and CMD. Any comments are welcome, and I will do my best to answer and change.

The next part ↓

Working hard on building myself to be a professional web developer and data analyst. Coding Python and JavaScript. GitHub: https://github.com/TheKinng96

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