GitHub is launching its own learning portal, which leans into two things all developers have come to love and loathe: pull requests and bots.
Via a dedicated portal, GitHub has created a unique offering. While most online learning portals dip into how GitHub works, there’s usually a light touch when it comes to interacting with the platform itself. You might be able to download a project via the ‘ol hub, or fork/create pull requests for your own project, but usually it’s all pretty silo’d away from GitHub proper.
With GitHub Learning Lab, a bot acts as a project collaborator. It algorithmically ‘reviews’ your pull request, comments on your code, and approves or denies it. A guided plan ramps up the difficulty as you make your way through the various pull requests.
For now, GitHub Learning Lab is limited to the following topics:
- An introduction to GitHub, where learners get a better overall view of how the site works.
- Lessons in markdown. Your bot host will encourage you to use markdown syntax to express yourself more clearly via GitHub.
- GitHub Pages. Users will be encouraged to host their blog or website directly via Pages.
- Tips and tools for migrating projects to GitHub.
- Lessons on how to manage and resolve merge conflicts (coming soon).
- Contributing to open source projects via a unique mapping project set up specifically for Lesson Lab.
This won’t be totally guided by the company, either: Its future plans involve inviting new course authors to submit lesson plans, and adding more topics.
Teaching how the platform works through the platform itself is pretty meta, but probably the best way to get the hang of something that can be surprisingly difficult. The Learning Lab also has a huge upshot: having lessons take place within the framework of GitHub repositories feels natural. If this becomes a wide-ranging learning platform rather than a method for learning how git proper works, the Udemys and Udacitys of the world might need to take notice.