GitHub is one of the most popular forms of source control for API development, boasting a community of over 11 million users and 27 million projects. In a recent post on the Nordic APIs Blog, Kristopher Sandoval discussed why developers love the service.
Firstly, the entire development environment is enhanced by collaborative editing that allows multiple inputs on a single project. Any edits to the source code are kept as revisions and tied to the user account, creating the option to roll back to a previous version if any particular functionality fails. It also allows a single code base to fork into multiple concurrent projects.
This concept extends to the sense of community that emerges from the collective creative and technical talent of developers across the platform. Not only does this system drastically increase the size of the talent pool, but the sense of shared responsibility ensures that a high standard of work is maintained.
For independent projects run by small teams, integrated issue tracking allows the creation of tickets that can be sorted according to a chosen metric, such as date or number of comments. And this is achievable for almost any implementation since GitHub is language and platform agnostic. This allowance means any combination of technologies can be applied and worked on in GitHub to support learning and innovation.
One of the most obvious benefits of using GitHub is that its design supports developers since it was created by developers. And, support for open data means developers have access to many third-party libraries for extending their API into different languages and platforms, nurturing development and furthering the ideals of community.