Github has long been my number one source for discovering people doing interesting things with APIs. As I was trying to articulate how API providers can put Github to work as part of their API operations in another story, I came across the Github Explore section. I thought that the list of items on the home page helps demonstrate that Github is more than just about managing open source code--which is the common perception regarding what you do with Github amongst muggles.
I feel that these nine areas reflect the top uses for Github in 2017:
- Policies - From federal governments to corporations to student clubs, groups of all sizes are using GitHub to share, discuss, and improve laws.
- Tools for Open Source - Software to make running your open source project a little bit easier.
- Open source organizations - A showcase of organizations showcasing their open source projects.
- Design essentials - This collection of design libraries are the best on the web, and will complete your toolset for designing stunning products.
- Social Impact - Open source projects that are making the world a better place.
- Open data - Examples of using GitHub to store, publish and collaborate on open, machine-readable datasets.
- Package managers - Across programming languages and platforms, these popular package managers make it easy to distribute reusable libraries and plugins.
- DevOps tools - These tools help you manage servers and deploy happier and more often with more confidence.
- Machine learning - Laying the foundations for Skynet
There are other galleries available via the Github Explore section, but I think this list provides a nice snapshot. I was pleased to see open data as a showcase, which included the APIs.guru API directory, something I'd like to see become an entire category of API catalogs and directories. It also makes sense that the foundations for Skynet are being laid using Github as part of its machine learning showcase.
It is important to also note that the first area on this list is policies. Providing some important leadership for city, state, and federal government agencies to follow when it comes to crafting policy in an observable way via Github. While not an antidote for all the illnesses of government, it provides an environment where the sunshine can be let in to disinfect the process just a bit.
While code is still the central focus of engagement on Github, I think the open data, machine learning, and policy galleries reflect the shifting landscape of what happens on Github. I'm investing some time into crafting more Github 101 stories for API providers and consumers, and will also be improving my own discovery process using the social platform, as there are numerous signals to tune into these days, and the explore galleries is one interesting layer that I'll be keeping an eye on regularly.