Dear Tester: Github Is Your Friend

 "It's never too late 

- in fiction or in life - 

to revise"

 - Nancy Thayer

Personal confession time. I have no idea why it's taken me so long to realize that I too could be a regular github user. For years, I've used it on projects, learned the basic commands for the command line so I could switch repos quickly, whether it was for automation projects or software development, I used github with little thought about how I could use it myself.

Somehow, one comment from one of the developers I'm currently working with, on a project I've been pairing regularly with developers, my mental context about github shifted. He asked about my github and if I had anything there. I responded, no, I used it for practice. I didn't really keep anything there.

I realized, much to my utter horror, that I could have been keeping all of my little coding projects and all of my code notes in one spot. Things that I've come up with and used for automation, small scripts I've written to help collect data out of a database, all lost to time.

I could have sanitized bits to remove context. I could have been building my own stash of awesome frameworks and testing bits to reuse. The idea of reuse is where I kick myself for not thinking of this sooner. It's a number one rule of code, any code, is making it reusable. That doesn't mean only reusable in the context of what you are writing that code in, but it could mean, can mean, reusable in the context of being portable too.

I imagine that some folks have figure this out already. I probably know a lot of people who have great github accounts. Danny Dainton comes to mind as I was recently using his Postman repo.

The other great thing to use github for is Gists. It's like notepad, but better because you can keep collections of Gists for use, and it's all accessible from the internet.

Additionally, it lets me keep track of repos that I'm interested in and users that write some cool things.

So, dear tester, get out there and make your own github account if you haven't already. I don't have a lot in mine right now, but I plan on changing that over the next year or so. It's never too late to git started.


  1. Good to see you uploading stuff to GitHub. I pretty much just uploaded everything I could possibly open source. I went back through as many old coding projects as I could. Even my first every commercial projects for the Atari ST. I think a lot of people worry about sanitising the code, and making it pretty. But I recommend taking it off your hard drive, uploading it to GitHub and moving on to new projects to continually improve.

    Hope to see more of your work on GitHub.

    My dumping ground is

    1. Thanks for the awesome comment! I added you to my list of folks I follow on github. My whole github revelation is like I suddenly have a present I hadn't realized I left unopened until now.

  2. I love GitHub!
    * Research Notes go to
    * Sample code go to GitHub/tjmaher(

    ... I have been switching gigs so frequently, it is tough to keep track of what I did and what I learned. With my blog and GitHub, I can take my non-confidential notes with me.

    1. That's pretty awesome T.J.! Thanks for the comment!

  3. If you are looking for a good, free tutorial on how to start using git - Code School has a good one!


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