With all my experience in the world of website development, one thing has eluded me: how to use GitHub.
To be totally honest, I'm rather embarrassed to admit this. Most people these days assume that if you work on the web, you simply know how to use GitHub.
So I'm admitting this to the public because I genuinely want to get better and fill in this missing skill.
I've had an account since 2009, which I've used to star my favorite projects and pieces of code. For that, it's a fantastic tool to keep track of the content I love.
I understand the value of GitHub too. It's a fantastic way to collaborate with other developers (or at least in theory).
But using it to contribute or host projects confuses me to no end! I just simply don't understand how to use it despite the many MANY different tutorials I've tried, YouTube videos I've watched, and asking other programmers to explain it to me.
I understand how to use Terminal (or the command line, for you Windows users) pretty well, and yet every time I try to commit a project to GitHub's ecosystem, I am presented a vague error message that just adds to the confusion.[SCREENSHOT OF ERROR MESSAGE]
So after many attempts of using Terminal, I download the official GitHub Desktop Application, thinking this will make it easier.
So I try to get my projects online this way. Yet again, I am given another vague error message that leaves me with no alternative but to use traditional FTP uploads and my own web server.[SCREENSHOT OF ERROR MESSAGE]
I've searched the internet for clues on what to do regarding these specific errors, tried the suggestions, and gotten more errors. Eventually, this only leads me down a rabbit hole with no end in sight.
This level of frustration with GitHub has been going on for YEARS. And yet, I'm not any further now than I was back in 2009 when I opened my account.
One major problem with not understanding how to use GitHub is that this very blog was originally intended to be hosted through this awesome company called Netlify. I've had the pleasure of speaking with the founder Matt Biilmann at several events while I was living in San Francisco, California. He's such a cool guy! 😎
Anyway, Netlify takes your GitHub repositories and everything into completely static files on their servers.
And that means REALLY fast websites! Plus, I can finally deploy HTTPS encryption by default on my own domain name.
Unfortunately, not being able to use GitHub means I can't use Netlify. And if I can't use Netlify, my blog will remain unpublished until I find a different way to get this content online.
Frankly, this has been getting me a bit down because I want to get this blog online so I can connect with my audience and start building relationships.
In one sense, this kind of frustration reminds me why I love simplicity and minimalism so much these days. I just don't have the patience to figure out why something isn't working anymore.
Why can't it just do what I want when I want it?!
A big reason the projects I most like to build are very easy to use is because I've experienced the frustration I would hope others don't have to.
All of this being said, I still want to learn how to use GitHub. It would be invaluable in my work.