GitHub Education Pack Question

Hey guys,
I recently applied for GitHub Education Pack
when one of my cousins told me about it.
It offers many paid tools for free and i received the pack access today.
(If your are student and have a school id, you can apply too, here )
Even though i know about few tools, there are many tools i am not aware of.
So, if you guys can explain about the tools, it would be great help.
You can help me with one or more tools by guiding me how to use them.

Tools are algolia, datadog, jetbrains, sendgrind and few others mentioned at
Thank you !!

I’m providing information on these resources off the top of my head, If I don’t mention it, I probably haven’t used these tools, but have heard of them :smiley:

  • algolia - is a full text search api, this allows you to call a service and “search” your data. Think of it as an api for google searching stuff your application(s) save. Most of the time you can create your own “full text search”, but this takes time and usually doesn’t scale as well as a dedicated solution.
  • datadog - is a logging and monitoring service. So imaging you have a big app, you might want to know how much CPU your using, memory, crashes, console logs (loggin), stack traces during errors, all real time. Datadog will provide apis for this, and monitoring tools, so you know what is going on all the time. There are a lot of solutions similar to datadog too :smiley:
  • jetbrains - Jetbrains is a company that provides IDE’s and software for developers. Out of the entire github education pack, I suggest checking as many of these ides out as you want. Unlike the other offerings in the pack, odds are you will want to use an IDE, and Jetbrains provides multiple IDE’s for a lot of popular languages. Nothing beats using professional tools for free when your starting out it really helps!. I’ve used a number of their tools and found them to be very powerful, and very useful. Nowadays I stick with VSCode for most web-dev work, mainly because its free.
  • sendgrid - sendgrid is a service that provides an api to send emails. Plain, simple, super salable, and fairly cheap. If you are building an app that sends emails, sendgrid should be one of your first choices. I’ve used this service on a number of projects, and have no complaints!

To quckly go over a few other ones:

  • atom - githubs text editor, similar to VSCode, but I’ve found it lacks some library support in some areas (like typescript) and isn’t as performant as most other editors.
  • Heroku, Digital ocean - both of these are cloud service providers that provide some free credit to get you started on using cloud resources. Think of them as services that allow you to get a computer in the cloud, where you can run software and do stuff.

There’s a number of other things in the pack that can be looked into, but I wanted to cover the ones that stand out to me personally.

Check out all the tools if you can, free is always great, but most of the things aren’t free forever so at least take some time to see what you can do with it all :smile:

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What @bradtaniguchi said, and to add to that. A lot of these won’t make a lot of sense until you want to actually put an application up live somewhere. But stuff in the pack is that good, I’d strongly suggest aiming to do that – try to make use of the tools as much as possible because they tend to get pretty expensive pretty fast if you haven’t got free access to them.

Of the ones that aren’t hosting/infrastructure/analytics/etc:

  • Atom is OK, but I’d totally agree that VSCode a bit better. Atom is completely free anyway, so it’s not really a big thing.
  • The Jetbrains stuff is though: I use VSCode almost exclusively now, but when I’ve had access to Jetbrains IDEs they’ve always been excellent. Some people swear by WebStorm, but personally I like VSCode a bit better. PyCharm is brilliant though, helps enormously when I’ve had to do Python programming. Rider is a very high quality competitor to Visual Studio for .Net stuff. DataGrip is fantastic for any kind of database work. They are all IDEs, so there’s a learning curve, as they’re quite dense with loads of features, but they’re worth it. It’s a paid subscription model once you don’t have student access, so I’d make the most of them.
  • GitKraken I think I would’ve used more if I wasn’t so used to working in a terminal, it’s a nice piece of software. It’s a client application for git [that integrates seamlessly with GitHub], and gives you a lovely visual interface for working with git repos.
  • Unreal Engine I’ve only very vaguely played around with, but it seems to be far and away the best regarded of the big game engines/frameworks/visual editors (Unity, Unreal, Godot, CryEngine, Lumberyard etc). It’s not as friendly for beginners as some others, but it’s hella powerful (look at a list of games built in it). And you’ll need a relatively powerful machine to run it smoothly, but if you want to play around with game development it’s a nice addition to the pack. C++ is the language (which, as it happens, Jetbrains has an IDE for, CLion).
  • Flatiron School and Thinkful both seem to have a pretty good reputation. You only get a month, so probably think carefully about what you want to learn from them before you trigger the offer.

Sort of inbetween:

  • Travis is a service that runs tasks related to continuous integration. Which means you sign up to the service, tell it to watch some code (normally stored on GitHub or similar). When that code changes, Travis runs some scripts that do stuff, primarily checking to see if things build properly and running tests. You tell it what you want to monitor, and it automatically runs the stuff for you. It is very useful, and you can (and probably should) use it for your personal stuff - write tests for your code, and keep your code on GH, and every time you push code up, the code will be built, the tests will run and you’ll get told if there are any issues.


  • Heroku is great, pretty simple to use, really nice for getting applications live really quickly. Not much more to it than that.
  • Digital Ocean is same, a bit more involved in terms of seeting things up, but in exchange you get more freedom in what you actually put up (for example, I don’t know if this has changed, but any kind of persistance [eg databases] used to cost quite a bit on Heroku, whereas you can just install them on DO).
  • Amazon has a vast number of services, and many of them might be interesting to you. For example Amplify can allow you get a backend set up for an application with basically no coding. AWS is vast, so dig around – the free tier gives you quite a bit anyway, but the pack will give you a little bit more freedom to play around with things.
  • Azure: see Amazon. Strong focus on .Net stuff though as it’s Microsoft.

Other (imo these only really start to look appealing once you have actual stuff up and running):

  • Namecheap: free SSL certificate! SSL is important, and certificates cost money. Gives some security to an application, and is pretty necessary if your app does certain things (anything financial for example). This is quite an important subject. You aren’t likely to need that cert anytime soon, but it’s a nice to have.
  • Sentry: say you have a JS app. You import a script into the app, the Sentry client. Then whenever there is an error of some kind, that script sends the error details to Sentry, and you can log into the Sentry webapp and it gives you super detailed feedback. And you can tell it to email you when there is an error or whatever. Really nice interface, really easy to use. Only super useful if you have actual people using your app though.
  • Stripe is :+1:. Payment processor. Worth learning to use as lots of people use Stripe. Only super useful if you want to sell things though.
  • Sendgrid: email is a pain in the ass. Not having to worry about the nasty details of implementing it is :+1:. Could use it for something as simple as a contact form, but it’s built for things like sending out mailers and the like.
  • Algolia: if you want to have powerful search capabilities on your site/application. Pretty self-explanatory.

No idea about Transifex, needing translation for i18n or l10n of webapps is pretty common though, it could be fruitful to investigate it.

No idea about Carto, as never needed that kind of service.

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Thanl you so so much @bradtaniguchi and @DanCouper

After reading your responses,

  • I guess I’ll stick to VScode as far as IDE is considered cause i mostly do web development.

  • Namecheap has already been useful cause i got my first domain for free ( )

  • Among the infrastructure ones, i think I’ll have to first strengthen my back-end skills more before activating offer.

  • One question for @DanCouper, what do you think should i opt to learn from thinkful and flatiron.
    I activated flatiron school yesterday before reading your review, so I’ll have to decide what to learn. Do you think i should go for ruby?

Thanks again !!

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