What Is GitHub?

In this article, we will be studying the topic “What Is GitHub?”. Also, we will look at Github enterprise, Github actions, cryptocurrency, programming language etc.

One of the famous hosting platforms which web developers use to code is known as GitHub. They can also partner with different projects.

Meaning of GitHub

GitHub is known as the biggest website in the world for hosting coding operations. It serves as a medium for developers to post sequences of coding which later appears to the GitHub community. GitHub targets to make work of collaboration reach a lot of persons. It also helps developers to continuously work on a project no matter their location.

Some years back, the Microsoft Company bought GitHub and immediately put it to work. They were able publish projects like Windows Calculator  and  Visual Studio which are all open source. GitHub is built on top of a software that detects changes in content. This software is known as Git. Linus Torvalds is the developer of Git, the Linux operating system is also his work.

GitHub is a tool that is important in many areas, it helps developers to promote productivity globally. GitHub was developed with the intention to hasten a natural background. Here, developers can detect any change made as well as projects that work with coding.

GitHub actions include supporting various programming languages, file formats and characteristics. This creates free flow of operations for developers. GitHub platform helps its users in terms of granting them access give other members. It also allows developers to interrogate each other and also engage in conversations thereby promoting partnership.

Relationship Of GitHub With Cryptocurrency And Blockchain.

GitHub actions are very crucial to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. GitHub allows developers to code in its platform by making popular blockchain projects known to the public. Many cryptocurrencies can be found on GitHub without restrictions. However, GitHub actions boosts the rise in the industry and gives active members the chance to work together globally. It also makes analysis on the interest people have in various projects. Increase in active members leads to increase in people’s interest.

GitHub is vulnerable to cyber attacks because it is an open-source project. Users made attempt to set up free crypto mining activities through GitHub servers. The inventors of GitHub equally took preventive measures to that kind of incidence. The only users given access to edit on the website are those with an active GitHub account under registration. But others can access code and projects and not editing. This idea was to make security very tight for users and publishers.

Elaboration On GitHub

GitHub enterprise uses Git toprovide online hosting for software development and the control of versions. GitHub enterprise provides global version control and source code management feature of Git. Its own features are not left out. It also offers access control features like bug tracking, request for features, task management, continuous integration and wikis for every project. It has its headquarter at California and has been in support of Microsoft over the years.

Lately last year, GitHub had more than 73 million developers together with over 200 million informative books. 28 million books were made public. It was the largest hosting of source code as at tha


The GitHub Website

The development of the GitHub website was done on October 19, 2007. But the launching was done a year later by Tom Preston-Werner, Chris Wanstrath, P. J. Hyett and Scott Chacon. It was also present as a beta some months before launching. GitHub Universe is a yearly central idea of GitHub.

Organizational Structure of GitHub

GitHub enterprise did not initially have middle managers, everybody is a manager. We can equally say that they operate on a basis of self-management. Employees can decide on the project to work on but decisions on salaries to earn were done by the chief executive.

The GitHub enterprise later made use of middle management despite the critics against upper management in 2014. The critics however led to the resignation of the CEO, Tom Preston-Werner.

Financial Concept of GitHub

The GitHub website was a start-up business improvised by developers which generates huge revenue at the first trial. It has three founders whose main work is to fund the revenue and employ people afterward. Andreessen Horowitz made an investment of $100 million in venture capital four years after the founding of the company. Then, a few years later it generates another venture capital of $250 million. Active investors were Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive Capital, and other venture capital funds. An estimation of $200–300 million was made four years ago about the revenue that GitHub generates yearly. The location of GitHub enterprises is San Francisco and it has been in existence since 2007.

The shading of the map above shows the number of internet users of GitHub. While the charts that are circular in shape illustrate the number of GitHub users and commits per country.

According to GitHub, there has been an accumulation of more than 46,000 public informative books. During the previous month, there were about 17,000 of them. There has also been a division of about 6,200 informative books once and a combination of about 4,600.

That same year, the site was used by over 100,000 users, according to GitHub, and had grown to host 90,000 unique public informative books, 12,000 having been forked at least once, for a total of 135,000 informative books.

More Information

In 2010, GitHub was hosting 1 million informative books which went two times its initial number in 2011. According to ReadWriteWeb, GitHub had made more commits than SourceForge and Google Code from January to May 2011. On January 16, 2013, GitHub had more than 3 million users and was hosting more than 5 million informative books. Before that year came to an end, there was hosting of about 10 million repositories.

In 2012, GitHub had $100 million from fundraising led by Andreessen Horowitz with a total value of $750 million value. Three years later, GitHub had $250 million from fundraising led by Sequoia Capital. Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive Capital, and IVP (Institutional Venture Partners) were also part of the event. It gave an increase in worth up to $2 billion.

In 2015, GitHub had its first external office in Japan. A year later, GitHub was the 14th company on the Forbes Cloud 100 list. Despite being absent on 2018, 2019, and 2020 Forbes lists.

During the first quarter of 2018, GitHub became a victim of the third-largest distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack in history. Its traffic was reaching a climax of about 1.35 terabits per second. GitHub later gave an offer of free education to all the schools under it thereby bringing expansion.

Microsoft Purchases GitHub

The bar chart above shows Microsoft on top of the list of the ten organizations with the most open-source active members on GitHub in the year 2016.

Since 2012, Microsoft has been hosting open source projects through GitHub. Chakra Core, .NET Core, MSBuild,

PowerShell, PowerToys, Visual Studio Code, Windows Calculator, and Windows Terminal are all development tools one can find there too. Most of its product documentation is not left out and can be found on Microsoft Docs recently.

Microsoft went to the extent of making attempts to buy GitHub for 7.5 billion US dollars and the deal came to an end on October 26, 2018. GitHub did not rely on any other company even as a community, platform, or business. Nat Friedman led the service and gave reports to Scott Guthrie who was the executive vice president of Microsoft Cloud and AI. Chris Wanstrath was also kept to be reporting to Scott as a technical partner. He is the CEO of GitHub enterprises.

Some developers have shown concern about Microsoft acquiring GitHub. They said Microsoft found it difficult to manage the previous companies which they bought such as Nokia mobile or Skype media. Examples of such developers are Kyle Simpson, JavaScript trainer and author, and Rafael Laguna, CEO at Open-Xchange.

Additional Information

This acquisition rhymes with Microsoft’s business strategy under Satya Nadella as the CEO. There has been a major concern on the cloud computing services as well as development of and contributions to open-source software. According to  Harvard Business Review, Microsoft’s intention to but GitHub was not pure. It claims that they were looking for means to access GitHub’s database for selfish purposes of creating more awareness about their services.  

The incident attracts participants like Bitbucket, GitLab, and SourceForge which have their respective owners. Their reports show that they had seen an increase in new users that wants to leave GitHub platforms for their own services.

GitHub bought Semmle which is a code analysis tool a few years back. The following year, GitHub made launched GitHub India Private Limited. Later, it let the become aware of the plan of buying a JavaScript packaging vendor known as nom. The budget for this deal was kept a secret even after sealing the deal some months later.

There was later an establishment of the GitHub Archive Program to file away its open-source code freely.

GitHub’s Mascot

This is an octocat, a name given to human features with five arms but rather it looks of an Octopus. Simon Oxley is a graphic designer that made the character as a clip art with the intention of making sales on iStock. However, iStock is a website that serves as a medium for digital artists to sell simple digital pictures. Twitter chose the bird logo made by Oxley and this got the attention of GitHub. But GitHub chose the character known as Octopuss as their logo but iStock license doesn’t support it. However, there was a negotiation to purchase the official rights to the picture.

GitHub gave it another similar name removing the “puss” and replacing it with “cat” which is Octocat. The trademark of the picture came together with this new name. Later, GitHub employs Cameron McEfee who was an illustrator. His job was to make Octocat suitable for various purposes on the website and promotional materials. Recently, you can check out The Octodex for several variations of Octocat made so far by McEfee and many GitHub users.

One can access and control services on the GitHub website through a professional Git command-line interface. It is compatible with all standard Git commands and the website also allows users to search for public information. The site provides multiple desktop clients and Git plugins. Functions like feeds, followers, wikis and a social network graph are also available. This social network graph displays how control version works and it shows upgrade too.

More Information

Despite the fact that everybody can research and download public documents, only those that register can make contributions to info posted on the site. Such contributions can be: having discussions, managing documents, submitting opinions to other users’ documents, and surveying changes to code. GitHub website later began the allowance of 3 participants on each private project for free which initially applied to public ones only.

In fact, they gave out all the main features at no cost and infinite partners.

Linus Torvalds is the creator of the Linux operating system and also the writer of Git. Git is the major software in support of GitHub operations. GitHub enterprise developers wrote the extra software that offers user interface on GitHub with the aid of Ruby on Rails and Erlang.

Background of GitHub

The main purpose of the GitHub website is to help hasten the tracking of problems in software development together with the version control. The perfect tools for this tracking are labels, milestones, responsibility assignments, and a search engine. While Git is the tool for version control, it allows pulling requests to make the source code dynamic. Users that have the right to recheck the changes made can differentiate and approve them. This incidence is known as commit(singular) in terms of Git discussion. A record is made about all commits for future views.

In addition, GitHub supports the following formats and features:

  • Documentation: This includes README files in a variety of file formats that are similar to Markdown. This was made automatically.
  • GitHub Actions: This enables building continuous consolidation and continuous distribution routines for testing, releasing, and distributing software without external websites.
  • Graphs: This hosts features like pulse, contributors, commits, code frequency, punch card, network, members
  • Integrations Directory
  • Email notifications
  • Discussions
  • Option to subscribe someone to notifications by calling them using @ sign
  • Emojis
  • Nested task lists within files
  • Visualization of geospatial data
  • 3D render files which we can preview using a new integrated STL file viewer that displays the files on a “3D canvas.” This file viewer is powered by WebGL and Three.js.
  • Photoshop’s native PSD format: We can preview and compare this to previous versions of the same file.
  • PDF document viewer
  • Security Alerts of known Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures in different packages

GitHub’s Terms of Service do not require public software projects which the GitHub website features to meet the Open Source Definition. The terms of service state that as you set your documents to be seen by the public, you agree to allow others to view and divide your documents.

GitHub Enterprise

GitHub Enterprise is a version of GitHub’s website that is under self-control and shares common functions. It can be run on a private hardware or on a cloud provider, and it has been available for a very long time. Last two years, there was an online leak of the source code for GitHub Enterprise Server. This was due to protest to support the run of youtube-dl. According to GitHub, the incidence was more like a mistake than an attack on GitHub platform.

GitHub Pages

This is a constant web hosting service. GitHub offers GitHub pages to its users for hosting private blogs, project records, or even whole books made as a page.

The info on these pages is kept in a Git storage in form of a Markdown or files are given plainly to customers. GitHub easily combines Jekyll’s constant website and blog generator and it continues the combination. At any incidence of update, Jekyll regenerates the website and publishes it through GitHub Pages facilities with no external aid.

Other parts of GitHub involve both free and paid levels of service, rather than having the support of web advertisement. During hosting, websites that exist through this service appear as subdomains of the github.io domain. In contrast, they can appear as custom domains bought through a third-party domain name registrar. There is an automatic creation of a Let’s Encrypt certificate at the positioning of a custom domain. After which a user sets Enforce Https to freely redirect all HTTP requests to HTTPS.

Gist Websites

GitHub also operates on a website that uses a format of a Pastebin. This site is known as Gist, which is for pieces of code found in bigger projects. It made its first appearance at a Ruby conference in 2008 by Tom Preston-Werner.

Gist adds a version control for pieces of code, easy division, and TLS encryption for private pastes. These methods are local anyways. Every gist appears to store Git on their own allowing various pieces of code to be in one page. Git can apply push and pull operation on them as well.

In order to reduce spam, only users that login can upload Gists although users without registration were put on restriction initially.

All the editions about Gists is kept in a revision history capable of displaying a text difference of 30 revisions on each page. But it depends on the view chosen by the user. Its URLs use hexadecimal identities. There are divisions and stars found on Gists and their number(revisions inclusive) is shown on the Gist page.

Launching of Education Program

The aim of launching the GitHub Student Developer Pack is to grant free access to students to popular development tools and services. Bitnami, Crowdflower, DigitalOcean, DNSimple, HackHands, Namecheap, Orchestrate, Screenhero, SendGrid, Stripe, Travis CI, and Unreal Engine all gave their own contributions to launch the program.

The idea of launching the GitHub Campus Experts program was brought up. It will help to train and encourage students to grow technology communities at their various universities. The least age was 18 years of university students. The program is a way to help GitHub fund events and communities driven by students. A lot of rights are given to Campus Experts such as training, funding, and additional resources for growth. You must study a fully online course on the growth of community leadership skills before you apply for the post of a Campus Expert.

GitHub Marketplace Service

GitHub offers some services on the market using in form of software. Below are some examples:


This manages projects for software teams. It detects pull requests via automation, automatic builds, reviews, and deployments across all of your information in GitHub.


This combines with GitHub to provide debugging tools that are not faulty and complete exception reporting. It works comfortably with all code languages that people are more familiar with. They include JavaScript, Python, .NET, Ruby, PHP, Node.js, Android, iOS, Go, Java, and C#.

Code beat

This works for code analysis that is automatic and compatible with web and mobile developers. It works with code languages such as Elixir, Go, Java, Swift, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, Kotlin, Objective -C, and TypeScript.

Travis CI: This enables apps to maintain their stance during testing and shipping. It also enables apps to adapt to codes by creating full control. It is equally compatible with code languages like Go, Java, JavaScript, Objective-C, Python, PHP, Ruby, and Swift.

  • GitLocalize: This helps teams to translate their codes from one place to another. It links to a user’s database automatically to enable flexibility of work on GitHub. It also provides updates if the need arises.

Organizations that Sponsor GitHub

Organizations that sponsor GitHub to allow users to make monthly money donations to projects hosted on GitHub. There was an awareness made about public beta and the project accepts waitlist registrations. According to “The Verge,” these sponsors are similar to Patreon because developers can offer various levels of funding tiers that come with different gains. Developers will also receive consistent payment from their supporters who will incentivize their job as well as access them. This is different when there are no fees that attach to its usage. GitHub offers to pay for processing fees and align sponsorship payments up to $5,000 for each developer. However, users can still link their private websites to other platforms similar to GitHub.

GitHub Archive Program

Last two years, a February archive of GitHub site was kept in a mountain at Svalbard, Norway. This mountain has been in isolation for some time and it is very close to Svalbard Global Seed Vault. The items in the archive are the code of all public informative books functioning well and those not functioning well but crucial to GitHub. The size of its data is 21 terabytes with the piqlFilm archival film reels serving as a storage device in form of a matrix (2D) barcode. It should stay up to 500 to 1,000 years approximately.

The GitHub Archive Program is also in collaboration with Project Silica. They want to extend the life span of all public informative books up to 10,000 years. Another target is to write archives into the molecular structure of quartz glass discs with a multiplying laser that expands and contracts 1 quadrillion times per second.

Disagreements that GitHub encounters

Allegations made of Harassment

Many years ago,  Julie Ann Horvath said that she left the GitHub company because of the harassment done to her. She was their programmer before this incident took place. According to her, the founder and CEO together with his wife were responsible for such action. There was total denial about the incident by the company but later an acceptance was made after proper investigations were done. Chris Wanstrath wrote that the investigation found Tom Preston-Werner guilty of a few things. They include:

  • Confrontational conduct
  • Disregard of workplace complaints
  • Inability to respond to the impact of his spouse’s presence in the workplace
  • Failure to reach an agreement that his spouse should not work in the office.

However, the founder later gave up on the job due to the accusations. The company said that henceforth, there would be new methods to help consider complaints made by workers as a priority.

Sanctions of GitHub

A few years ago, a developer wrote about GitHub restricting his personal informative books and banning its pages as well. The developer resides in Iran. However, the ban currently extends to places like Crimea, Cuba, North Korea, and Syria.

GitHub later gave public informative books access to its pages no matter where it was. It was also made clear to users that if they visit countries under sanction while using GitHub, they are also prone to ban. GitHub gave consent to complaints and the media through a spokesperson. He or she said that GitHub operates under the US trade control laws, and follows those laws with dedication.

However, GitHub aims at becoming the general platform for partnership in terms of business for developers. Location will not be a limiting factor at all. There is a strict investigation of government officials to make sure there is no violation of the existing laws. An example of such a violation is storing public informative books, even the open-source projects present. Having access to these projects to support private interactions with developers in the countries under sanction.

Most of the developers who do not live in such countries might want to oppose the access restrictions given to them. Thereby requesting an appeal on its removal. GitHub also forbids the use of VPNs and IP proxies in those countries with sanctions. It usually identifies users through purchase history and IP addresses as one of its sources.

Censorship of GitHub

On December 3, 2014, the GitHub website was seen as a red flag by the Russians. Why? because GitHub enterprise was initially stubborn about the removal of a suicidal manual post made by its user. A day later, Russians had a change of mind and withdrew which led to GitHub blocking specific content and pages in Russia. Later that month, Indians came up with their own restrictions on GitHub website together with 31 other websites. These restrictions were made over the publishing of content that relates to ISIS. However, this did not continue for a long time, it took just 3 days.   Two years later, Turkey came up with its own restrictions. But this time around it was to prevent email leakage of an account belonging to the country’s energy minister that was under attack.

On March 26, 2015, a large-scale DDoS attack was also made against GitHub website that didn’t stay for long too. The primary target of the attack that came from China was a GitHub’s user content describing methods of circumventing Internet censorship.

Chen Mei and Cai Wei were under detention by the Chinese police last two years. The police said that were people that pick up quarrels and cause trouble too. Both victims were volunteers for Terminus 2049, courtesy of GitHub. Cai and Chen wrote news articles, interviews, and other materials seen on Chinese media outlets and social media platforms. Chinese censors dealt with the posts as they were seen as disturbing.

ICE Contracts Owned by GitHub

A contract of $200,000 was made between the GitHub enterprise and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The purpose of the contract was for their on-site product GitHub Enterprise Server. A renewal was made regardless of disposal made by workers internally.

Nat Friedman sent a message through the email to the workers. He is the CEO of GitHub company and he said that the revenue gotten from purchases is not up to $200,000. He said that it is not suitable for financial purposes. The message was later seen in the GitHub blog.

He said that GitHub enterprise made a promise to give $500,000 to nonprofit groups supporting immigrant communities which are the administration’s main focus. More than 150 GitHub workers made a public restatement of their disagreement with the contract as a response. They also made a denial concerning the human rights abuses done by ICE. Later on, five more workers gave up their job over that same contract.

In June 2020, the disagreement with the ICE contract began because of the decision made by GitHub enterprise to leave the  “master/slave” branch terminology. The George Floyd protests and the movement of “Black Lives Matter” were the cause. People that don’t value GitHub see the branch renaming to be a form of performative activism.

They rather gave a suggestion for GitHub enterprise to terminate their ICE contract. The contributors wrote a public letter that demands the termination of ICE contracts by it. They were told to go and fix their collaborations and conducting issues. That later has the approval of over 700 people.

Capitol riot comments and sacking of employees

GitHub enterprise gave one of its workers a sack notice after the showing concern for co-workers during the incident of riot that took place in the U.S. Capitol. Those leading the riot were given the name “Nazis.” After conducting an investigation, the COO made a conclusion that the sacking wasn’t necessary. The company’s head of human resources voluntarily chose to resign as a result of this incidence. Although, the GitHub enterprise went to look for the worker.

See the List of things to learn.

  1. Blockchain Technology
  2. Defi
  3. NFTs
  4. DAOs
  5. Crypto
  6. Web 3.0
  7. Altcoin Tokenomics
  8. Metaverse
  9. Smart Contracts

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