8 Productivity Tips for GitHub

Darren Burns on January 09, 2019

With the recent announcement of unlimited private repositories, let's take a few minutes before we push up the code we don’t want anyone else to se... [Read Full]
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Great post Darren πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»


Food for thought

For building such powerful and fast search system Github must be indexing our code. Is that ohk? πŸ€”
It’s make me uncomfortable as these features work on private repos as well.
I always use to wonder why Microsoft bought Github. What you guys think?


Hi Sarthak! You might want to take a look at GitHub's terms of service, specifically the section about private repos.

If you're not OK at GitHub potentially having access to your code under the terms then you should probably consider a self hosted solution.

It really depends on what you're comfortable with.


Point is awareness. You know this, I know this but most developers out there, they are clueless.

Don't know, I think you underestimate developers or overestimate how much companies care about this a little bit.

Most cloud providers support teams can see your code if you authorize them to when you open a ticket and most terms include authorization to access your code, even if only for backups or redundancy.

With severless computing I'm even authorizing you provider to take my code, put it god knows where so you can start it up to serve customers.

BTW the argument could be made with data (which in a lot of cases is far more important than the code).

Agreed, Data is more important but that also being stoled by these big crops. The only thing I'm concerned about is Microsoft. Github can be a great resource for them to build DeepCoder . Let's hope I'm wrong about this. πŸ˜ƒ

Github can be a great resource for them to build DeepCoder.

Is it stolen though? GH has had a API for years. All the article says is that they used existing software code (which you can find everywhere thanks to open source) to feed the AI.

I understand your distrust but if you believe your data is being actively stolen by a cloud provider (not talking about privacy related data leaks of companies in general) I think you can likely sue them.

It would be a giant blowback if the database of a customer is being stolen for internal usage against the terms of service. Imagine the PR nightmare and I reckon many people would migrate instantly.

I think it's far easier and less risky for cloud providers to just copy your idea and offer it as a standard service, like AWS seems to be doing from time to time :D

It's okay. I respect your way of thinking too. The thing is that other people should be thinking more about their privacy than they do and if they that's good. Often free is not free and we as developers should be more cautious than others. 😊

True that! Privacy is paramount these days. Companies are out there doing shady things, like selling your location data or... being Facebook :D


I will shamelessly promote my github extension for chrome that helps me reviewing large PRs where it shows a hierarchical view of all changed files so you can see the scope of changes at a glance: chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/...


Looks really cool! I'll give it a shot this week πŸ™‚


Thanks for the great info!

Another awesome tip for reviewing pull requests is to append ?w=1 to the URL. This will make the pull request ignore whitespace changes :)

Also, if you want a more natural GitHub Pull Request review experience, check out the GitHub Pull Request extension for VS Code.


Github is bursting with features, it's always good to revisit some favourites!

One thing that is important to keep in mind about the pull request suggestion feature: be careful if you have any sort of commit message linting (either in relationship with a semantic versioning system or just for the sake of standardization), I had to amend commit histories more than once after accepting a suggestion too hastily and using the default commit message.

While it's a useful feature for quick fixes, being able to disable it on a per-project basis could definitely save some headaches.


Totally agreed. I'd only use it for really small things that I'm confident won't result in a broken build.

I don't know that I'd disable it though. If you've got GitHub linked to a CI platform then in the worst case it should result in a single broken commit.


True for the single broken commit, I'm just very averse to any variation of manual rebasing to be honest. In reality, fixing a broken commit history is actually a pretty straightforward process.

I wish that something like a user-defined commit message regexp could be set for repos though, it's a crude guardrail that could catch that kind of stuff.


Press ? to see the available keyboard shortcuts.


I always wondered why there is a weird / on the search bar of github, now I know why. Awesome post. All of them are so helpful and I didn't know a single one of them, now I do. Thanks a lot.


This article is absolute gold. Will definitely be using the t keyboard shortcut to search for files.


Thanks, Darren, this list is a real gem of tips for all levels of GitHub users.


Great tips, I didn't know about the search hotkeys at all. Thanks


Awesome list, Darren! ✨

I didn't know about the hotkey to search for functions in code changes. Going to give it a shot this week!


Thanks for the valuable tips. πŸ‘Œ
Wasn't aware at all of some of these.


This is fantastic! Keep up the good work!


I had no idea about the suggested revision feature--going to start using that a lot. Thanks for sharing!


It's pretty helpful for quick fixes πŸ˜„


Any idea if you can get Octotree working for GitHub enterprise(privately hosted)?


You can use it with if you grant the correct permissions. Here's a guide:


Hope that helps :)


And unfortunately only on Chrome :/ No way for me to make it work on firefox


Great post Darren! I use a few these in my day to day.


I did know about "suggestions" and "saved replies", they are amazing.

I recommend also the Refined GitHub.

Thanks for tips!


Thanks for octotree and fuzzy file search. Never knew GitHub has such gems.


Glad I could introduce you to some new features!


Thanks for writing this up. It's gonna be very beneficial for me. 😁


Thanks Ankur!

Happy to hear you found it helpful :)


Thanks for the interesting information...


Learned quite a lot today. Thank you for this post!


Brilliant! Then my mission is accomplished 😊


Thank you, Darren.

Love the compiled list and wasn't aware one can do so much more on GitHub πŸ™‚

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