Scratch The Surface Of Github

Will Holmgren, Jan 29, 2019

If you’re reading this, you should take 5 minutes to complete a handful of intro GitHub tasks. It’s free and it’s easy.

First, sign up for GitHub at If asked, choose the free plan.

Why? Creating a GitHub account will give you much more visibility in project development (which you can later ignore as you like). Almost all of the programmers that you want to hire over the next 5-10 years are going to think highly of the fact that you have a GitHub account. And basic familiarity with GitHub is a nice skill to have in your pocket these days!

One great thing about GitHub is that you can “watch” a project’s development. This means that you receive emails or web notifications when a new issue, pull request, or change to the code occurs on a project. Learn more about notifications here. I recommend that you “watch” at least the Solar Forecast Arbiter’s website repository. Click that link and then click “Watch” in the upper right corner. By default, you’ll get an email for all notifications. Consider creating an email filter or modifying your notification settings to “web only”.

The “core” code of the Solar Forecast Arbiter will live in solarforecastarbiter-core, including the metrics computations, data qualification toolkit, data collection scripts, and more. You can review or watch all of the project’s repositories here.

Creating a GitHub account will allow you to raise new “issues” for the team to resolve. For example, you may discover a typo or broken link on the project web page. Or maybe you find a problem in the way we handle missing data in a calculation. Post the problem to the GitHub repository instead of emailing and it won’t get lost in our inboxes! Click the “issues” tab of the relevant repository to make a new issue. See here for more info on creating an issue. Even better, propose a solution in a pull request – but that’s a topic for another post.

You might also want to checkout the pvlib python repository to see a more mature project with more contributors. Some issues relevant to Solar Forecasting 2 include #589 and #590. The solarfx2 tag shows a list of all pvlib python activities that are directly related to Solar Forecasting 2. – it’s quick, easy, and you might discover a whole new career.