GitHub tutorial: Get started with GitHub

Every developer should be on GitHub. Follow these steps to create a repository, push commits, merge pull requests, and clone and fork other repos

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Every developer needs to be on GitHub, whether or not they contribute to open source, and whether or not they have repositories (repos) hosted elsewhere. Seriously.

In this day and age no developer should have to justify using open source projects. Further, as a developer you absolutely need to read the code for any open source projects that you use; track issues and changes to the projects; and post issues when you encounter them so that they can be fixed. If you can contribute code fixes, improved documentation, and/or code enhancements back to the community, even better.

Considering hosts the vast majority of open source repositories, you owe it to yourself to know how to use it. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to perform the basic operations of “GitHub Flow” in a non-destructive way. These operations are essentially the same whether you are a developer, a technical writer, or a tester.

Set up a GitHub account

If you’re not already a GitHub user, you need to sign up for an account. The form that appears on when you’re not signed in, shown above, gives you the opportunity to create a username and password and associate them with your email address. A free account gives you the opportunity to work on other people’s projects and create your own public repos. To create your own private repos, you need to upgrade to a paid subscription, unless you are a verified student, teacher, or academic researcher.

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