​Learn to use GitHub with GitHub Learning Lab

Want to join the 27 million open-source programmers who develop on GitHub? Here's how to get your start.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

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The most popular open-source development site in the world is GitHub. It's used by tens of millions of developers to work on over 80 million projects.

It's not just a site where people use Linus Torvalds' Git open-source distributed version control system. It's also an online home for collaboration, a sandbox for testing, a launchpad for deployment, and a platform for learning new skills. The GitHub Training Team has now released an app, GitHub Learning Lab, so you can join the programming party.

GitHub Learning Lab is not a tutorial or webcast. It's an app that gives you a hands-on learning experience within GitHub. According to GitHub, "Our friendly bot will take you through a series of practical, fun labs that will give you the skills you need in no time--and share helpful feedback along the way."

With GitHub Learning Lab, you'll learn through issues opened by a bot in a GitHub repository. As you finish tasks, the bot will comment on your work and review your pull requests like a project collaborator would.

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If you have questions that come up while you complete a course, you can get answers in the GitHub Learning Lab Community Forum. This is a new way to get support from your fellow students and expert trainers, including members of the GitHub Training Team

The Lab is opening with five courses. These are:

  1. Introduction to GitHub: Get an introduction to the most common, collaborative workflow for developers around the world.
  2. Communicating using Markdown: Learn how to communicate on GitHub and beyond with Markdown's simple syntax.
  3. GitHub Pages: Host a website or blog directly from your GitHub repository.
  4. Moving your project to GitHub: Get tips for migrating your code and contributors to GitHub.
  5. Managing merge conflict: Learn why merge conflicts happen and how to fix them.

GitHub will also release "Contributing to open source: Make your first open source contribution in a friendly mapping project," soon.

Afterwards GitHub will add more classes to the app. It will also invite inviting new course authors and add more topics. You can add your own two cents on what should be offered on the Community Forum.

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