Every software development team needs version control. It allows developers to maintain workflow visibility and avoid redundancies in their code.Version Control Systems are the software tools that help us record changes made to our files by keeping track of modifications done to the code.
There is one repository and each user has their own working copy. Changes are committed to the repository and other team members are able to see those changes.
The version control system keeps track of different versions of a file and you can recall a specific version whenever you need to. This makes collaboration amongst developers easy and also makes sure that the members of the team are working on the latest version of a file.
There are various version control platforms out there, such as Git, Subversion, Mercurial, DCVS, and more. Git is one of the most widely used, so we’ll discuss it in this article.
What is Git?
Git is the most commonly used and open-source distributed Version Control System that helps in tracking changes made to the file. Hence we have a record of all the changes that have been made to a file and we can also revert back to a specific version. Git simplifies the process of software development with the help of easy source code management. Git is one of the most helpful and popular among developers. It also helps non-technical people to keep a track of files and perform collaborative tasks. Git further helps in the process of collaboration and permits changes made by multiple people to be merged into a single source code. It automatically merges the changes so two people at two different sources can even work on different parts of the same file. They can later merge all the changes without losing each other’s work. This is especially helpful in big projects where a large number of developers are involved.
What is GitHub?
GitHub is a service posted on the web where all the projects are stored. Every project on GitHub has its own depository and its unique UI. Git provides a graphical interface to store the files and help team members to coordinate on the project remotely. Along with basic task management tools, GitHub provides many features that enhance access control and collaboration. In simple words, it is a web interface for using Git. GitLab, Gogs, etc are other platforms providing the same services but GitHub is gaining more popularity after Microsoft’s recent acquisition of GitHub.
Popular Github Plugin
Jenkins is an open-source automation tool written in Java for the continuous integration process. It allows continuous development and testing of software projects making it easier for developers to integrate changes to the project. It also makes it easier for users to obtain fresh builds. GitHub provides many Jenkins plugins that can help development teams to build software effectively. Jenkins can easily pull source code from any Git repository that the Jenkins build node can access.
LeanBoard is a plugin that offers a collaborative whiteboard with sticky notes which seamlessly connects with your GitHub issues. You can create a board for an issue after logging in and a snapshot of your notes is embedded in the issue automatically. It helps in reducing redundancy and ensures a seamless continuation of collaborative work.
3. Code Inspector
Code Inspector is a code analysis platform that can be used as a plugin in GitHub. It performs several tasks such as automated code reviews, technical debt management, and analysis of code quality trends over time. It is used extensively as a GitHub plugin to improve the code quality and build software products efficiently. There are other similar plugins such as Codeasy, LGMT, and more.
4. Check Run Reporter
Check Run Reporter helps in analyzing the test report in a precise and efficient way, It takes JUnit, Checkstyle, and other structured reports and presents the results into your GitHub UI directly. It reduces time and effort as you no longer need to dig through your page of CI logs to find out why your build failed. It is one of the most trending GitHub plugins.
Key Benefits of GitHub
1. Easy project management
GitHub helps project managers and developers to collaborate effectively on the project. The work can be easily dragged and upgraded which makes sure that the project is on the schedule and on time.
2. Increased safety with packages
The packages on GitHub can be published as desired, they can be published privately or within a community or publicly. The packages can be easily downloaded from GitHub to use and reuse.
3. Effective team management
All the team members can stay updated with all that is happening on the project so this helps them to stay organized and coordinated. The pull request and other modification tools make sure that the team focuses on the goal.
4. Improved code writing
With the help of GitHub, the quality of code has been significantly increased. With the help of the GitPull command, one can review, improve, and propose new codes. Furthermore, suggestions and modifications can be discussed before changing the original code.
5. Increased code safety
GitHub uses industry-leading tools to analyze and identify the vulnerabilities to the code. This tends to find rests in the code which other tools tend to miss.
6. Easy code hosting
As the name suggests, the code and documentation are hosted in one place. We also know that there are thousands of repositories on GitHub so each repository has its own set of tools to release and hosts the code.
With continuous improvements and a wide range of integrations, Github has maintained its leading position among all version control platforms. GitHub has been releasing regular updates to the platform to meet the requirements of new IDE, programming languages and software development environment. They also have made their pricing more affordable. For example, in the past a free user had a limited number of repositories and had to purchase a paid subscription for more repo. With “GitHub’s free tier” it became possible to have an unlimited number of repositories and can be used by small teams to collaborate. With improved reliability, security, and performance GitHub has 40 million users and 190 million repositories which makes it the largest host of source code in the world.
Piyush Jain is the founder and CEO of Simpalm, a mobile app development company in the USA. Piyush founded Simpalm in 2009 and has grown it to be a leading mobile and web development company in the DMV area. With a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins and a strong background in technology and entrepreneurship, he understands how to solve problems using technology. Under his leadership, Simpalm has delivered 300+ mobile apps and web solutions to clients in startups, enterprises and the federal sector.