Getting started with GitHub’s desktop and mobile tools

Social coding is powerful, but to get the most out of it you need the right tools

Getting started with GitHub’s desktop and mobile tools
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Microsoft has taken a very hands-off approach with GitHub since its acquisition last year. It’s an approach that makes a lot of sense; Microsoft’s past relationship with the open source community hasn’t been the best, and there’s still not much trust there, despite significant moves towards open design and open development models from Redmond.

However, that hasn’t left GitHub stagnant and drifting. Instead, under new leadership and with more clarity about its future, GitHub has accelerated its product development and rollout, adding features to its Web services and to its platform. GitHub’s own developer-focused tools have gotten much more attention in the past year, with regular updates to GitHub Desktop and the release of its first native mobile applications for iOS and Android.

Getting social with your code

GitHub is for a lot more than sharing your code with your team or the world. Its repositories build on the underlying open source Git source control protocol, using it as the foundation for a social coding model that aims to change the way developers work, in public and in private. It’s an interesting development model. With the shift to distributed and remote teams, it’s increasingly important to find new ways of adding collaboration.

You’re not limited to using GitHub’s own tools, as any Git client will work with the service. One option is the popular Git for Windows implementation that Microsoft integrates into its Visual Studio Code programmer’s editor. With deep hooks into Windows Explorer and its own bash-like command line, it’s an easy route to using Git and GitHub, treating local and remote repositories in exactly the same way.

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