Tag Archives: github

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How to take your git skills to the next level

One way is to read this: How to become a Git expert – freeCodeCamp.org. There’s a lot of good pages on how to get started on git, but if you are joining a software project, you may be expected to know more than the basics. You may be required to know the kind of things that piece talks about. Of course you can ask people on your team for help, but why not get as much skill as you can first and then ask better questions? There’s always something new to learn when it comes to git and software management: learn as much as you can by yourself and increase your skill set and your value to the team.

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Two additions to my github repositories: one for IBM Watson, one for monitoring Linux systems

I’ve recently added two repos to my github account:

The first one is some proof of concept code I wrote to demonstrate how to work with IBM Watson’s Tradeoff Analytics service using node.js

The second one is some sample code I have had for some time that does simple server monitoring of a Linux server.

There is no intellectual property involved in these repos: it is simple code based on documented code samples found in many places on the web.

For more details, see my Github landing page, here: blm849 (Bernie Michalik)

A simple tutorial to set up an about.me site on github

I used to be a big fan of about.me: they enabled me to create a personal home page far better than what I could do. Unfortunately they stripped out some of the things that made the page look great, and when they did that, I decided to make my own about.me page, using free hosting on Github.

First off, here is what my page looks like: http://blm849.github.io

Here’s the steps I took to make it.

Before you start, here’s what you will need if you want to follow my steps. You’ll need:

  • a text editor. Notepad or Textpad or vi will all work fine.
  • some knowledge of HTML. Not too much. If you just follow the steps below, you should be fine. If you want some quick knowledge of HTML, see this: HTML Tutorial
  • some knowledge of  git and github.com. Again, not too much. If you follow the steps below, you should not need any. If you want some quick knowledge of git and github, see this: How to learn github fairly easily | Smart People I Know
  • Some words describing yourself that you want to have on the site.
  • An image file of yourself that you would want to serve as the background of the site. The one I had was a simple photograph I took with my smartphone.
  • A working file directory on your computer to hold your files.

Here are the steps:

  1. Set up your site on Github. To do this, follow the steps, here: GitHub Pages – Websites for you and your projects, hosted directly from your GitHub repository. Just edit, push, and your changes are live. Check it out. Use your working file directory to store the files. Once you complete the steps, and pointing your browser at http://username.github.io works, you are going to want to personalize the site. (Note: username = the name of your userid. e.g. my userid on github is blm849)
  2. Use a repository from someone else to make the job simpler. To create my site, http://blm849.github.io, I used a repository from here: https://github.com/weightshift/The-Personal-Page. It’s great. I simply downloaded the ZIP file, unzipped the files, and copied and replaced the files in the working file directory. In your case, I would recommend you take my repository and my files and modify them. I’ll explain in a bit. My repository and my files are here: https://github.com/blm849/blm849.github.io. Click on the “Clone or Download” button and then click “Download ZIP” to do this. Like I said, download the zip file, unzip the files, put them in your working file directory.
  3. Also, copy your background image (e.g. background.jpg) into the working file directory.
  4. Now edit the index.html file in the working file directory. Make the following changes and then file index.html:
    1. On line 5, change the text between <title> and </title>. This text will appear on the browser tab when someone opens your site.
    2. For lines 41-51, replace the lines I have in here with the words describing yourself. The only HTML I used here is:
      • the <br> tag to add some blank lines before the line “My name is….”. I found it looked better when I did this.
      • the <p></p> tag to format the words into paragraphs. Again, it makes it more presentable.
      • the <b></b> tag to make my name bold. I wanted it to stand out. If you don’t, remove those tags.
      • the <a></a>tag to have links to other web pages about me. If you don’t have links elsewhere, you can remove those.
    3. On line 58, replace “blm.jpg” with “background.jpg” (assuming that the file name of your background image is called background.jpg. If it is called something else, use that file name instead.)
  5. Once you have made the changes and saved index.html,  open it with your favourite browser. (To do this, right click on the file and select “open with…” and pick your browser.) Check to see if the words are correct and the background image is correct and the formatting is correct. If not, you will have to go back and edit the file and fix your errors.
  6. Once you are happy with it, do the following:
    1. Delete any background image files in the working file directory that are not yours (blm.jpg and nh_bg.jpg)
    2. Enter: git add –all
    3. Enter: git commit -m “secondary commit with my own information”
    4. Enter: git push -u origin master
    5. Point your browser at http://username.github.io and make sure it works.

That’s it!

One final note: I recommended using my repository and not the original one I worked on. I did that because I had some problems with displaying my page on my iPhone 6s plus. I added some files and tweaked the index.html file to get it to work. By using my package and my index.html file, there are less changes for you to make, I believe. That said, I am grateful for the code from the original repository and I am making sure I credit the owner of that repository (as should you).

Developers and IT people: you need to have more than a good resume/CV

If you are a software developer or someone working in IT, you need to consider having more than a good resume or CV. You should consider having:

  1. an up to date profile in LinkedIn
  2. a professional web site (at least a one pager). It could be a blog, or an about.me page…something that provides information about yourself in a summary form.
  3. some repositories on github showing your work or an example of what you can do.

If you use github.io to host your professional web site, you get to cross off #2 and #3 with one effort.

I was reminded of this when I went to check out this page: DevProgress Tech Volunteer Questionnaire. You can see them asking for this information. It makes sense: if you are looking to hire a developer, it would be great to see not just what people are saying about them on LinkedIn, but what their code looks like too.

For some employees, putting code on github may not be an option. In that case focus on the first two and have a page somewhere on the web that discusses why you can’t host code there.

 

Some good IT links on cloud, software development, github, python, IoT and more

As I go through my day, I often find IT links that are of interest to work I am doing. This is my latest set of links. As you can see, I am keen on cloud, software development, github, python, and IoT, to say the least.

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How to learn github fairly easily

It is easy to feel stupid if you are trying to learn how to use github and you are not a software developer. Many of the github tutorials are aimed at people who are software developers and who have used similar tools. What can seem obvious to them can seem bafflingly to you when you are trying to understand the workings of github. (e.g., if you are not used to source control, then getting your mind around what state your file can be in at any given time in the process can be confusing.)

Despite that, if you are committed to learn how to use Github and git (the basis for Github), I recommend you take the next four steps:

  1. Start with this two part tutorial: GitHub For Beginners: Don’t Get Scared, Get Started – ReadWrite (part 1) and GitHub For Beginners: Commit, Push And Go – ReadWrite. I really liked this series. It assumes that you aren’t a software developer and that you may have tried using github and gave up. I highly recommend you take an hour and walk through both parts of this tutorial. When you are done, you will have feel that you have a good start on being able to use git.
  2. If you still feel like you want some more practice and you want to try some new things with git in a safe environment, try this interactive tutorial: Code School – Try Git. It will also teach you some additional things that you will find useful that you didn’t learn in step 1.
  3. Now that you are more comfortable with git and github, this Git Reference site walks you some of the same material, but goes into detail and explains it more. By the time you go through this, you should be alot more confident about what you are doing with git and github.
  4. Lastly, I like this site:  git – the simple guide – no deep s–t! (It’s where the graphic at the top of this post comes from). It’s a great summary of the things that you’ve learned, and it has an excellent cheat sheet on the top left of the page that you will want to keep handy.

Some additional thoughts: your use of git and github can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. You could have a simple repo on github with one or more files that only you use. Later, you could start cloning other people’s repos, making changes, and making them into your own repo. From there you could get into working with teams of people, branching and merging your files as you go. During that time, you are learning as you go. Don’t be afraid to a) make backups and then b) make mistakes. Eventually you will gain mastery of it and be able to use it to your full advantage. Better still, the material you share can be used by others, and that’s a great thing.