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Why You Should Use GitHub | Touchstone Words

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Why You Should Use GitHub

By Shane Staret on 2018-02-13

Are you a programmer who wants to share their work with others but don’t know how to? Or are you possibly looking into getting a job or internship, and you want to showcase your programming skills? Well, then you should really look into getting a GitHub account. It is basically like a Facebook account or other social media account, minus the cesspool of memes and fake news, but for programmers. Instead of posting messages about your life or what you are eating, you can “post” your software projects that you created by coding.

Other users can work on these projects as well by branching off of the code that you initially created and pushing their updated code to the project. Of course, not anyone can just take your code and update it but you can allow certain users to become contributors, giving them full permissions over the project.

Building a good GitHub portfolio can intrigue employers who are looking to hire. In fact, GitHub even has a setting on their site that you can enable to show employers that you are looking to be hired. I mean think about it, GitHub is an incredibly convenient tool that employers can use to see literally all of a person’s programming accomplishments. They all can conveniently be placed within a single profile and the interface is quite simple as well.

While education and other credentials are absolutely still important when it comes to jump starting a career in software or web development, having a public portfolio showcasing all of your programming projects can put you one step ahead. The awesome thing about GitHub as well, is that you can also contribute to open source projects that are hosted through GitHub. So you can also broadcast all the different kinds of projects that you have worked on that were not initially started by you.

However, like every other professional social media website, there are some unwritten rules and good practices that may make your GitHub profile stand out from others. For example, you can push different iterations of your projects to GitHub, so that the project is automatically updated on GitHub as you make progress on your programming projects. It is good to make many updates to your projects hosted on GitHub because it shows the timeline of your project and how you progressed. By just uploading the finished project, it does not show how you actually went about improving your code or how your project evolved over time. It is also important that when making changes to a project, you note in the push message what change is being made, so it can easily be documented. Making changes that aren’t explained don’t help anyone, as other contributors may be confused about your changes, and you may forget why you even made a change in the first place. There are many other good practices, like writing a good description of the project, citing all other resources or GitHub pages you used to create the project, and properly commenting code within the project.

So, if you are serious about programming and want to make it into a career, there is almost no excuse not to have a GitHub page. After all, it can only help you land a job or an internship, as you can showcase your programming projects for potential employers to see. Get started by going to GitHub’s main page and creating an account. While you can use GitHub without knowledge of git, I would recommend becoming familiar with version control program as it can make working with GitHub much easier. It’s never too early to kickstart your career and hopefully you can begin by hosting your projects on GitHub. Good luck.

Programming Languages and Resources for Web Developers
Now that you know about GitHub, the easiest way to learn coding is via web design programming. You should lean coding languages that are in use by millions of sites. HTML, CSS (or HTML5 & CSS3) PHP, MySQL, JavaScript (or JS frameworks like jQuery, Angular, React, Node, or Express) or MongoDB, Apache, Ruby on Rails, and Linux are all related to web design coding. For beginners interested in learning more about web design and development, here are a list of step-by-step training guide articles: i- Become CMS specialist, ii- Become front-end specialist, iii- Become expert SQL developer, iv- Become expert PHP developer

Discussed coding languages are well suited for those interested in pursuing a career in web design and development; however, other options are mobile App design and development, system admin and software engineering. It is advisable to consult with an IT counselor to understand what options best fits your skills. For instance, if you want to be a software engineer, learning HTML and CSS might not fit the bill. Here is an excellent article for learning more on coding and technology career roadmap. Once you know what career path you wish to pursue, you can make a plan on what, when, and how to learn. There are lots of online resources for learning coding and technology in general. For teenagers and high school students, High School Technology Services offers variety of hands-on training. For adults and professionals, Coding Bootcamps and DC Web Makers Companies offer basic to advance project-based programming and technology classes.

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