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Learn GitHub with online courses and programs

Are you interested in advancing your tech career? GitHub allows you to work with other developers and practice your coding skills. Learn how to use GitHub with online courses delivered through edX.
Learn GitHub | Introduction Image

What is GitHub?

GitHub is a code hosting platform used for version control and collaboration by both professional and amateur web developers.Footnote 1 The internet hosting service uses Git, an open-source version control system (VCS). While knowledge of Git is not a requirement for using GitHub, it can be helpful to know how Git powers the highly collaborative platform.

Git describes the way it stores data as “a series of snapshots.” Essentially, each time you save a draft of your work, Git takes a snapshot of the file. These files are stored locally, so you can quickly and conveniently access your work history when needed.Footnote 2

Git allows developers to create and manage remote repositories of work hosted on the internet or a server, such as GitHub. You can collaborate with others by pulling data from these sharable repositories.Footnote 3

To use GitHub, you must first sign up for a GitHub account. Once you’ve set up your account, you can store and manage your files, share drafts while controlling who has access to what data, and contribute to open-source projects. It can be a great platform for version control and allows users to easily collaborate with others. 

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What is covered in a GitHub tutorial?

GitHub is a helpful tool for developers at any stage of their career. Sharing and collaborating on projects with like-minded coders all over the world provides new perspectives and expertise. If you’re looking to enter the tech field or advance an existing programming career, learning to use GitHub is an important step.

There are many ways to learn Git and GitHub online. Online GitHub training may cover:

  • How to work with a version control system

  • How to install and run Git

  • How to set up a GitHub account

  • How to collaborate through forking, cloning, and merging workflows

  • How to create a Git repository

  • How to create a pull request to collaborate on a repository

edX offers a variety of learning options to suit learners from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Once you’re familiar with GitHub and its capabilities, you can use it as a platform for hosting a portfolio of your work and send potential employers samples of your hosted code to showcase your expertise. 

Explore jobs that use GitHub

Many professionals use GitHub in their day-to-day work. While one of its main benefits is open-source collaboration, GitHub also offers the ability to store secure projects on the platform. For this reason, companies in a variety of industries rely on GitHub for version control.

GitHub’s popularity among developers makes it a beneficial skill for anyone interested in pursuing a career that works with code. Some common roles include:

  • Service delivery engineer

  • DevOps engineer

  • IT software engineer

  • GitHub solution architect

  • Software engineer

These jobs require baseline knowledge of coding. Many people looking to enter the field may complete a coding boot camp, or pursue a bachelor's in computer science degree or  a master's in computer science degree.

How to use GitHub as a software engineer

GitHub can be a necessary workplace tool for software engineers and other tech professionals. Software engineers develop products, applications, games, control systems, operating systems, and more for companies around the world. To become a software engineer, it may be useful to first obtain a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in computer science or a related field, as the curriculum will cover coding fundamentals necessary for software development.Footnote 4

Those without prior knowledge of coding may opt to enter a coding boot camp. A boot camp can introduce you to common coding languages used to develop software, coding best practices, and troubleshooting and debugging basics.Footnote 5 Once you’re comfortable coding, you may choose to seek out a GitHub class that includes hands-on experience using the platform.