In this insight, we take a look at what GitHub and GitLab are and why they are important in the world of software development.

GitHub, from GitHub Inc., is a not-for-profit website and cloud-based hosting service for open-source development projects – it is the largest open-source host. It helps developers, working on software projects, to store and manage their code as well as tracking and controlling changes to their code (using Version control) and collaborating on projects.

83 Million Developers Use It

it has been reported that in June this year, GitHub had over 83 million developers using its service and more than 200 million repositories. These include 28 million public repositories. A repository contains all of a user’s project’s files and each file’s revision history.

There are two-connected elements to GitHub – Git and Version Control:

1. Git

The name ‘Git’ refers to an open-source distributed version control system (VCS), created by Linus Torvalds in 2005, the entire codebase and history of which is available on every developer’s computer. Over 80 per cent of developers use Git which can be used to work on software projects of any size. This is why it is the most popular version control software and is often used across the scale of start-ups, enterprise, and others. 

2. Version Control

Version control / source control refers to software tools that allows developers to track and manage changes to a software project’s code over time. Version control also enhances communication and collaboration between team members, and facilitates a continuous, simple way to develop software. It also acts as a safety net to protect source code from irreparable harm, thereby giving the development team the freedom to experiment without fear of causing damage or creating code conflicts. 


Users can access projects on using the standard Git command-line interface, where all standard Git commands work with it. also allows users to browse public repositories on the site, and the site has social networking-like functions including feeds, followers, wikis (using wiki software called Gollum) and a social network graph showing how developers work on their versions (“forks”) of a repository, and what fork (and branch within that fork) is newest. 

What Is GitLab?

GitLab is a third-party tool that is the official supported tool of GitHub. It automates the builds, integration, and verification of a developer’s code. It provides SAST, DAST, code quality analysis, and pipelines that enable concurrent testing and parallel execution of code. This means that developer teams can get fast insights about their code, thereby saving time. 

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

For developers and teams working on software development GitHub and tools like GitLab provide a vital platform for managing and storing code and for collaborative working.

For developers, other great advantages of GitHub are its easy-to-find guides/documentation, plus developers can showcase their work to companies and the public. It also integrates with common platforms like Amazon and Google Cloud.

For software developers and those looking for good developers, GitHub is an extremely important platform that has provided the tools that have enabled the development of all kinds of software in a joined-up way.

By Mike Knight

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