In my software projects class our team has all agreed on using github to manage the project throughout the quarter (yay!). This is great for developers (assuming they understand basic git workflow ie branching/merging) but can be tricky if the project managers aren’t on board.
Github has really great and simple tools for milestones/bug tracking, but often because PM’s aren’t familiar with github and think its just a ‘code thing’ they don’t leverage it as much as they should. In my opinion it’s the BEST tool for a project manager because it eliminates the need to ask for status updates. If they can learn to read commits, bug reports and set milestones within a github project it’ll make the project run that much smoother.
So without further ado let us step into the world of github!
This should be the first page you see when you enter a project. This is essentially a file explorer of all the code for the project. We haven’t started our project yet so in this screen shot you just get the default github welcome screen.
On the right hand side you’ll see a bunch of icons, these are the navigational icons for the project. Lets go over each one and what they look like.
menu with arrow image
The issues tab is used to show all ‘tasks’ for the project. A task could be a feature request, bug report, etc. etc. You can apply various labels to your issues to categorize them (we’ll see that in a second). Think of issues as a really general list item that you want someone in the project to see. You can give it qualities (labels) to make it more specific but you don’t have to.
Pull requests – this tab is more for the repository admin. Not important for now.
Labels- This tab defines all of the labels that you can apply to issues from the previous tab. So an issue can be a bug, a question, a help wanted, or all three at the same time (but don’t do that). The default labels are pretty rock solid so no real need to change them or add any.
Milestones – this tab is self explanatory, a nice way to set milestones, set dates and share them with all the collaborators on the project. Pretty sweet.
Wiki Page – this is where your team will create documentation on the project, it’s a really simple wiki engine. You’l be able to see if the developers are writing documentation here. If it’s empty and you see code in the code view they’re probably slacking 🙂
Pulse page – this page shows commit activity. It basically is a news feed of updates that the developers have pushed to the code base. So if user1 ads a login page you’ll be able to see a ‘commit’ of his work here. If you want to get really specific you can click the commit and view his exact changes, but its more useful to just see who’s working and actually submitting code.
The other tabs/pages you can explore at your leisure as they don’t directly apply to project managers! Hope this was helpful, happy managing 🙂