If you see the following image when you log in to GitHub, you're gonna have a bad time. This image is just placeholder content they show you until you've asked for the good stuff. Figure 1. A placeholder image github shows until you follow a user. You won't truly have a good time until you start following other users. Once you do, the boring blurb in Figure 1 (above) will be replaced with valuable information. Refer to Figure 2 at the bottom of this article for an example. Follow is one of GitHub's most valuable features for coders. If you aren't actively using it, you are missing an opportunity to continuously expose yourself to new and useful information. Follow to see what other developers are contributing to, what they're interested in, and all the cool things they're discovering on GitHub.


  • Discover projects you could be learning about or contributing to.
  • See when your colleagues are gravitating toward new patterns or languages.
  • Learn what tools have helped other developers get their jobs done.
  • Colleague-driven content beats a placeholder image any day.


  • Maintainers of popular projects or tools you use.
  • Coders of varying skill-sets. Gain insight into worlds into which you may someday step.
  • People who have starred many repositories.
  • People who work for organizations you admire.
If you're an aspiring programmer and a GitHub user, don't be shy! Follow some users. You're gonna have a good time. Figure 2. A lively github feed; folks doing fun things with open source software. An array of personalities. Github users who use 'follow' having a good time.

Start with: What problem are you trying to solve? 

One of the activities we work through revolves around refining your problem statement. A problem statement is the key business problem that needs to be solved. In software development, it states “what has to be done” for a project to succeed. It does not say, “how it has to be done.”

We use the 5W’s + 1 H format as well as the SMART Framework when establishing a problem statement. In fact, you can draft your own problem statement by using our free download. This download will get you thinking through some of the questions and answers prior to starting your project.

Download: Problem Statement
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