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GITHUB

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on 26 November 2013

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Transcript of GITHUB

"Building software better, together."
DEFINITIONS OF
PARTICIPATION
+
COLLABORATION
Programmers to submit (
commit
), combine (
branch
), contribute (
push
) and obtain (
fork
)
repositories
of computer code so that they can develop/co-develop, follow, discuss, reference, and revise software projects online within a network of other programmers (Weber 2010).
DEFINITIONS
Git
:
"
Git
’s are quite simply a form of
software control management (SCM)
. When implemented in a networked environment, a git schema allows users and teams of programmers to
submit
(
commit
),
combine
(
branch
),
contribute

(
push
) and
obtain
(
fork
)
repositories
of computer code that are generally hosted and managed by a third party.

Code Repository
: a file archive and web hosting facility where large amounts of source code are kept, either publicly or privately. They are often used by
open-source projects
and other
multi-developer projects
to handle various versions. They help developers submit patches of code in an organized fashion (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Source_code_repository).

Fork
: A term used to describe the act of obtaining/retrieving
repositories

Pull Request
: The gesture used if a user '
forks
' a
repository
, makes some changes, and suggests to the forked repository developer that he or she should merge these changes into a project.
According to Howard Rheingold...

PARTICIPATION
requires that "you become an active citizen rather than simply a passive consumer of what is sold to you, what is taught to you, and what your government wants you to believe" (2010)

COLLABORATION
uses "the technologies and techniques of attention and participation" so that people can "work together collaboratively in ways that were too difficult or expensive to attempt before the advent of social media" (2010)
HOW DOES
GITHUB
FACILITATE AND PROMOTE
PARTICIPATION + COLLABORATION
?
WHAT IS
GITHUB
?
Launched in 2008,
GitHub
is "an online platform that offers users free
repository
hosting for their code, as well as social networking features" (Weber 2012). It is "the largest code host on the planet with over 9.5 million
repositories
" (www.github.com).
SOCIAL MEDIA LITERACY
Howard Rheingold suggests five "
literacies
" users needed in order to effectively choose and use social media technologies. Goran identified two possible literacies associated with
GitHub
:

ATTENTION
PARTICIPATION
COLLABORATION
NETWORK AWARENESS
CRITICAL CONSUMPTION


GitHub allows...

GitHub
is also a platform for
collaboration
because it allows programmers to discuss, combine, or contribute the codes they upload to the site so that they can further develop them through collaborative efforts.
So how exactly does social
networking play a role in coding and software development?
According to Brian Doll, the marketing director at
GitHub
:

"The tagline for
GitHub
is “
social coding
,” and we’ve dramatically improved the level of
collaboration
and
participation
among people who build software. The social aspect is so unique and powerful. We’ve heard countless stories of dif­ferent types of communities and companies that have seen great improvements in terms of quantity and quality of work that they’ve done. We’re also attracting larger audiences of people to work on those projects" (Begel et al.
2013)
Coding Languages
(in order of popularity on GitHub as of 06/2010):
JavaScript, Ruby, Python, Shell, Java, PHP, C, Perl, C++, Objective-C
(Weber 2012)
GitHub
meets the
participation
requirement because programmers can put code repositories online and make them accessible to other programmers.
GORAN
Goran was a young man from Belgrade, Serbia, who had two hobbies: he loved to create
new software
and he loved to learn
new languages
. He spoke fluent Serbian, Hungarian, Romanian, and could read and write English.

In school, he majored in
Computer Science
, with a minor in
English literature
. He spent much of his leisure time in the library, writing software code on his computer or reading English books. Even though Goran had excellent reading, comprehension, and writing skills in English, he desperately wanted to improve his speaking, but he didn't know any fluent English speakers that could teach or help him.
Goran decided to develop a
mobile app
that would allow him to record or upload audio files of English phrases into a dictionary so that he could listen and practice words and phrases spoken by native English speakers online. Collaborating with his classmate Jovan, they started developing their app.
Goran and Jovan eventually encountered a problem in their JavaScript coding and consulted one of their professors for help.
But their professor didn't know how to trouble shoot their problem either. She then suggested that they post their code on
GitHub
to consult other programmers around the world about their problem.

After watching the
GitHub
video, Goran became extremely excited as he browsed the website for the first time. Even though he was familiar with
social networking sites
like
Facebook
,
LinkedIn
, and
Twitter
, he couldn't believe that he had never heard of this site before.

Since
Goran
had learned about
social media literacy
, he used Rheingold's theory to contemplate what
GitHub
had to offer as a social media platform
Satisfied with what the website promised to offer and eager to collaborate with
some of the best programmers in the world that were also using

GitHub
, Goran signed up for an account and familiarized himself with the functions of the website.
Goran's app used a
JavaScript
code, and
JavaScript
happened to be the most popular coding language on
GitHub
. Goran had a strong feeling that someone would be able to help him!
After finally learning how to use the basic tools of
GitHub
, Goran, under his username '
dragicgoran
' nervously posted the code for his mobile app online and patiently waited, hoping to hear feedback from other programmers.
The next day, Goran's

code repository

had been
'
starred
'
25 times by other programmers who were interested in following the progress of his mobile app development. Furthermore, a user named
'
lazar007
'
already '
forked
' Goran's
repository
and submitted a solution to his initial problem. '
lazar007
' also wrote a message to Goran expressing interest in helping out with the project!
According to

GitHub's

Brian Doll
, '
starring
'
as a

"feature for watching repositories used to have
two side effects
.
One
was that it would mark the repository as watched so you could easily find it again. It also had the
secondary side effect
that your activity feed, which is on your dashboard in
GitHub
, would fill up with commits and comments from any watched repositories."

Doll: "For example, thousands and thousands of jQuery plug-ins vary widely in quality, but if you know somebody who is a prominent jQuery developer and they star a bunch of interesting jQuery plug-ins, those plug-ins are probably pretty good. This might also give you exposure to someone that you don’t know. It’s a great way of gaining a highly personalized exploration of a site that’s as big and as wide as
GitHub
. With so many repositories, it can be challenging to find the diamonds in the rough" (Begel et Al, 2013)
STARRING
GORAN COULDN'T BELIEVE HIS EYES!
Goran contacted '
lazar007
', whose name was Lazar, and they connected over
Facebook
. It turned out that Lazar was a graduate student studying Computer Engineering and Linguistics at M.I.T., one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world! Lazar thought that Goran's software was brilliant. Because of their common interests and knowledge, they decided to work together
As their work progressed, several more programmers made contributions to the software development. After Goran and Lazar gave a year of dedication and hard work, a beta version of the app was released for
GitHub
members to try for free. They named the app
Talk2Me
.
Since Jovan did not speak much English, he eventually lost interest and decided to step away from the project.

Now that Goran was on his own, his hopes of completing a beta version of his mobile app seemed impossible. Goran had never heard of
GitHub
before, so he went online to do some research.
THE POWER OF GITHUB AS A SOCIAL NETWORK
BEWILDERED,
THEY SAID, "YES!"
Jerry
, one of the
GitHub
programmers that tested the app, happened to be working at
Google
as the
director of mobile app development
for
Google Translate
. He loved the
Talk2Me
app and decided to contact Goran and Lazar. After several video conference calls,
Jerry
contacted Goran and Lazar and asked if they would be interested in working under him at
"The number one way of getting a job in any programming company right now is to have a GitHub account and show your work. Many articles describe how GitHub is the new resume for programmers" (Bezel et al., 2013)
BRIAN DOLL SAYS
IN CONCLUSION
By using
GitHub
, Goran was able to
participate
in a social network and
collaborate
with other users to create a software that would be useful for foreign language learning and acquisition for people all around the world. He was also recruited through
GitHub
by a world-class company because
GitHub
acted as a vehicle for displaying his creativity and computer programming competence to the rest of the world.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Articles:

Begel, A.; Bosch, J.; Storey, M.-A., "Social Networking Meets Software Development: Perspectives from GitHub, MSDN, Stack Exchange, and TopCoder," Software, IEEE , vol.30, no.1, pp.52,66, Jan.-Feb. 2013 doi: 10.1109/MS.2013.13

Rheingold, H. (2010, September/October). Attention, and other 21st-century social media literacies. EDUCAUSE Review, 45(5), 14-24.

Weber, N. M. (2012), Combined methods, thick descriptions: Languages of collaboration on Github. Proc. Am. Soc. Info. Sci. Tech., 49: 1–4. doi: 10.1002/meet.14504901347


Images:

Google Logo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Logo_2013_Google.png
GitHub Screenshot: http://jasonneylon.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/github.png
Howard Rheingold Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/howardrheingold/4116166533/

Video:

"GitHub is Changing the World" by Github (URL: http://www.youtube.com/user/github)
"GitHub" by Chris Pirllio (URL: http://www.youtube.com/user/lockergnome?feature=watch)
Goran wondered to himself:
Does
GitHub
contribute to
Social Media Literacy
?
I'm
Rheingold
Full transcript