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A Decade of GitHub

Jay Cuthrell
March 25th, 2019 · 4 min read

I’ve been using GitHub for ~10 years. Over time I used GitHub more socially than for source code publishing. As my use increased so did my bookmarking via the “stars” function. Let’s see what I kept after my most recent Spring purge of GitHub stars…


JayCuthrell GitHub Stars

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A list of all my GitHub stars sorted by popularity

My First GitHub Repository

My first GitHub repository was a trivially simple XML based web gadget that mapped the traffic cameras for the ATL and RDU area. The gadget was a Google Gadget for iGoogle (hah!) which launched in 2005 but I think I was hosting the snippets of code on my website prior to GitHub coming into existence.

Good times circa 2007.

Good times circa 2007.

Eventually, I moved all my coding projects to GitHub and even got to contribute a few times here and there. While I’ve never considered myself to be a good developer, I can sometimes apply myself. More accurately, I can configure and read documentation. That’s okay. I’m comfortable with that and appreciate the hard work others have published that I can use freely. So, the GitHub stars become a social gesture form of love letter from one perspective all while iGoogle faded into the past.

IGoogle Logo iGoogle - Wikipedia

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RIP iGoogle 2005-2013

Startups, RSUs, and Equity

To be clear, GitHub is not exclusively about code repositories. In fact, when I was an advisor to multiple startups I was often looking for ways to politely say “no” when approached by founders. That led to a blog post and lots of bookmarking of other similar blog posts.

1year Be My Advisor ( 2013 )

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Thinking about equitable equity.

Occasionally, I would come across a really strong blog post that educated the reader on startup topics. Sometimes those blog posts were kept in GitHub or even GitHub Pages as repositories that were worthy of a star.

2058167 GitHub - jlevy/og-equity-compensation

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Great resource to understand the math behind the madness of monetary maybe and monetary maybe not

WarGames in the Terminal

The first time I saw the movie WarGames was on HBO back in last century. Heh. The computer graphics were amazing. So, I have a soft spot for ASCII and terminal based graphical interfaces and they are very GitHub star worthy.

1359037 GitHub - yaronn/blessed-contrib: Build terminal dashboards using ascii/ansi art and javascript

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ASCII art dashboards in the terminal

Cross Training in the Terminal

Much of my early computing after college was on LAMP stacks. The M and P have changed from mSQL to MySQL and the Perl became PHP and eventually Python. That means if I can find a tool to learn more about the late stage LAMP options I am going to save it for later review and especially if the tools let me stay withing a native terminal experience without having to spawn a desktop IDE.

11810727 GitHub - dbcli/pgcli:

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Getting away from MySQL was the plan by using autocompletion and syntax highlighting with Postgres CLI.

44159252 GitHub - prompt-toolkit/ptpython:

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Prompting as a read–eval–print loop (REPL) for Python to get off of PHP IDE dependence.

Friends, Family, and Forensics

The interwebs were, are, and will continue to be a pretty hostile place. So, it makes sense to have ways to add some modicum of protection at the right time from just about anywhere. Also, you should sniff yourself before someone else does. It’s just like Ice Cube used to say… “Sniff yourself before you wreck yourself!” So, GitHub stars for all these projects!

2314423 GitHub - trailofbits/algo:

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Using Ansible to set up a personal IPSEC VPN in the cloud.

32347203 GitHub - StreisandEffect/streisand:

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A friends and family ready approach to a bit more security.

9535064 GitHub - USArmyResearchLab/Dshell:

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Cool pcap decoding project

Visualization by Design

While I have more ideas than hours, my hope is to eventually apply these GitHub stars to future projects. Being able to tell a story with data has always been one of my blogging goals.

1562726 GitHub - d3/d3:

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SVG + Canvas + HTML = data eye candy

GitHub - pzhaonet/mindr:

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After playing with R and markdown files the next step to was to create mindmaps

Self Paced Learning

My backgound is not in formal computer science so I end up Google searching error messages and reading a lot of tutorials. Luckily, there are tons of great free courses out there and some very dedicated individuals have collected these resources as GitHub Pages and repositories.

22699926 GitHub - Developer-Y/cs-video-courses:

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Such a great resource. Then the UC Berkeley links stopped working a few years ago…

649249 GitHub - prakhar1989/awesome-courses:

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Another example of how changes to official curriculum content curation make compilations into a race against link rot

Of course, there are times when even links go bad. Link rot is real. Then again, so are the archivists that fight link rot each day.

berkeley banner 20,000 World-class University Lectures Made Illegal, So We Irrevocably Mirrored Them - LBRY

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Heh. MIRRORED.

While I’ve not had to whiteboard for a few years, it’s still an interesting topic for me and I try to read and understand. GitHub stars for these collections!

1571881 GitHub - kennyledet/Algorithm-Implementations:

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Another great algorithm implementations resource

1484886 GitHub - sagivo/algorithms:

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I saved this when reading up on algorithms that are common in interview or whiteboard questions.

Twitter Diaspora

Readers that follow my blog or Twitter presence know I’ve been away from Twitter for almost two years.

qthrul by month type On Twitter ( 2017 )

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An examination of my Twitter archives

My method for moving off of Twitter was a multi-part experiment and exercise. I used a few tools to make that transition and learn about my own Twitter life cycle in the process.

First, I wanted to archive, combine, and understand how much linked content was still valid.

10364946 GitHub - butterflo/tweetmerge:

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I had a lot of different Twitter handles over the course of 10 years.

736906 GitHub - mshea/Parse-Twitter-Archive:

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Twitter archive exports were messy initially and this helped when trying to find an older tweet.

5909886 GitHub - jolle/expired-tweets:

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Link rot is real.

Second, I wanted to get a feeling for what was socially validated with likes or retweets.

1406 GitHub - dangoldin/twitter-archive-analysis:

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I used this to understand how I was using Twitter towards the end.

Third, I wanted all my rich media content saved.

2061609 GitHub - mwichary/twitter-export-image-fill:

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This was a key utility before archiving my tweets for later analysis. There is still no native takeout option on Twitter to my knowledge.

Finally, I wanted to clean house one layer of engagement at a time until only my most popular tweet remained. Then that tweet went away too. Spoiler alert: yes, it was pretty banal.

125011 GitHub - MikeMcQuaid/TwitterDelete:

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Nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

Until next time… keep checking out those GitHub stars!

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