A network for geeks

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A network for geeks

WITH THE WIDESPREAD acceptance and popularity enjoyed by Facebook, it was not surprising that a lot of new ‘social’ networks mushroomed over the past years.

By Prashant Vadgaonkar (TECHTRONIKS)

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Published: Sat 17 Aug 2013, 2:06 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:19 AM

These networks cater to various target segments such as say a network of class of people who are rich and influential or a network for people with specific business interests who would like to grow and expand their professional connections or a network of people who would like to create wealth for themselves instead of allowing only the entrepreneurs to make big bucks. There is also another major network that is rapidly growing and targeted at the techies or geeks which aims to cut down the need of physical hubs for technology creation — instead it fosters online collaboration between the programmers ‘commune’.

San Francisco based start-up GitHub has created a network wherein developers and programmers can come together and collaborate to get technical software assignments executed without having to rely on e-mail communications, or meetings, physical offices or even oppressive bosses! GitHub is a place where software developers code, save, share, and update their personal programming projects, in common computer languages such as Java and open source softwares. Some of the salient features of GitHub which make it truly unique include the following:

Co-development platform: Helps coders work with project teams or individuals across organisation or accounts or projects with simple and easy communication.

Largest open source community across the globe: Helps share projects with the developer community across the world, get feedback and comments, and contribute to a multitude of repositories hosted.

Repositories and tools for collaboration: Provides access to repositories and tools which are needed to develop and manage projects. These are available to the users for public projects or for secured private projects.

Communication, collaboration and discussion tools: Helps review updates and edits, provide comment on the lines of code, report issues and defects, and plan the future of projects with discussion tools and forums.

Administration as a shared function: Free GitHub accounts help people oversee group billing information and team management.

Effective Team management: Multiple development teams can be set-up which can span across projects, accounts all with unlimited number of members. Access controls: Set-up of the necessary privileges and permissions such as Read-only, Read-write, Admin level accesses to the team members thereby enabling adequate controls over the source code. Web-based config tools: Ability to customise the GitHub Enterprise version to work more efficiently with individual teams and processes and ability to browse to the IP address of virtual applications to access its settings.

Another of GitHub’s key functionality is the pull request which enables anyone on the network to propose revision or updates to the code of some other developers’ project. The project owner gets notified and the edits can be simply merged at the click of a button. One can also create a similar version of the project by forking a project with his or her suggestions.

GitHub has become an epicenter of software innovation with coders logging in from across the world and exchanging code, ideas and apps thereby making it a hub sans age-old limitations of language, locations and geographies. It is also slowly evolving as a ground for recruiters who stalk software talent.

The company which has a user base of about 3.5 million with about 10,000 new users joining every day is currently valued at about $700 million and some call it the “Facebook for geeks”.

However, one thing is for sure that this network is unique since it helps create and deliver value to make software development truly effective and collaborative.


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