Intro to Github Actions (Part 1)

Saturday, January 29, 2022

End goal: Introduce GitHub actions

If you are a software engineer, you have probably heard of Github. Github is a code hosting platform that allows engineers collaboratively build and manage versions of software. It’s known for being the powerhouse behind open source software.

Github is built on top of git which is a version control system for tracking changes in a set of files. It runs locally on your machine and helps keep track of changes you make to files (in our case source code).

For the curious, in your terminal, navigate to your repo and type `ls -la` and hit enter. You will see a `.git` folder. that’s git right there *wink*

So in Github, you get a UI of sorts for git with additional features. Make sense?

Github has been in existence since 2008 and for 10 years, Github was just a code hosting platform. But in 2018, Github announced the release of Github Actions and the ability to automate any kind of workflow and the rest they say is history.

What are Github Actions and what are they good for?

Github Actions enables engineers automate their development workflows. What is a development workflow? A development workflow includes all the steps between developing software and delivering a working version of your software to end users. These can include: running a build of your app, running unit and integration tests and creating a feedback comment on the pull request, sending a slack message when an issue is opened with a particular tag, automating the release versioning for your software to deploying updates and so much more; the possibilities are endless.

Github Actions is bridging the gap between DevOps and Software Engineers. If you know how to write code, you can set up development workflows to help automate any part of your system that before required manual intervention or required help from a system administrator or DevOps engineer.

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