Microsoft Acquires GitHub – What Does it all Mean?
Everyone has heard of Microsoft, but not everyone has heard of GitHub unless you’re an open source developer. By open source, I mean the collaborative efforts of different developers to participate in the co-development of a software solution without the barriers of specific operating system and software platforms. GitHub is basically a code repository for open source software projects that allow multiple developers from any location to work on the same code.
GitHub provides repository, version control, and code merging services that facilitate the collaboration process. Microsoft has been first and foremost a company targeted to developers. They create technology that helps other people create technology. So, you can see why a company like GitHub would be attractive.
Why Would Microsoft Acquire GitHub?
Microsoft created their own software product designed to facilitate software collaboration decades ago. It started out back in the nineties as Visual SourceSafe and was pretty much a standalone program that was included in Microsoft’s software development license structure. Later it evolved into a much more powerful platform called TFS (Team Foundation Server). If you have been trained in the disciplines of Microsoft technology and development, you have almost certainly been exposed to TFS at some point. It is a very powerful tool and one of the most powerful assets in the Microsoft development world.
So, all of that to say that Microsoft knows a thing or two about collaboratively writing code. However, you had to use their technologies such as VB.NET, C#, ASP.NET, and SQL Server, just to name a few of their flagship products.
GitHub has emerged in recent years to become the open-source counterpart to TFS. It provides software collaboration services to the rest of the world not necessarily utilizing Microsoft technology. GitHub is OS, programming language, and software agnostic. You can store any project written in any language on GitHub. Then you can experiment, modify, and create new code and submit it for review by other developers around the world. Finally, you can take in their feedback to learn more about coding and make your code stronger.
Then, when it is sufficiently polished and has been approved, it can be merged back into the main branch to make the overall software better and more powerful. It doesn’t even have to be a coding project. You can create a repository for any digital files you want, collaborate with other graphic designers to create images and icons, or use it for documents, articles, and even novels. It provides a connection for people all over the world to contribute and make something better.
Open Source Programming
Microsoft has recently made a strong push in the direction of open source programming. They have created new technologies such as .NET Core, which has made great advances in open source programming technology. With Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub, they can bring two great products together. I would look for GitHub users to benefit from Microsoft’s decades of experience with coding repositories and version management to start to shine through in GitHub’s interface. It will gain some of the features from TFS and TFS will benefit from the innovations from GitHub. Either way, it is a very exciting time to be a developer. Expect many advances in the way you write, store, and merge code.
GitHub is fairly easy to learn and there are online tutorials to get you started. However, like most powerful software tools, to become a power user you’ll need professional, certified training – the likes of which you will receive at ONLC. So, contact ONLC today to sign up for courses and training to teach you how to master the intricacies of GitHub today!