The Github Student Pack is an abundance of resources available to students for free. The services and tools provided are used in the industry today and can launch your projects to the next level. Apply for the Github Student Pack here.
In this article I am going to go over my favorite tools and services available for free in the Student Pack and why you should use them in your next project.
Heroku is a PAAS (Platform as a Service) that allows you to launch your app in seconds. Its focus is on taking all the devops work off your hands. That means you just need to run a couple commands for your app to be deployed and accessible anywhere!
For example, here is all you need to get a Ruby on Rails API deployed on heroku:
$ heroku create $ git push heroku master
Heroku provides $168 worth of credits , equivalent to 2 years of the hobby dyno. This allows you to have an app deployed on Heroku with little or no downtime and gives you access to custom SSL certificates and custom domains. Even better, you can use that credit for their database instances above their free-tier. Learn more about how to deploy your app on Heroku.
Namecheap is a domain registration site that provides a free year of a .me domain, perfect for your personal portfolio site. They also provide a 1 year SSL certificate. You can have your new .me url point to your Heroku server by using a DNS provider such as Cloudflare all for free. Register your .me domain here
Digital Ocean is an IAAS (Infrastructure as a Service). This means that you get a virtual machine (called a Droplet) and have full control of it via the terminal. Digital Ocean provides $50 credit to students, which is good for 10 months of their $5/month droplet.
You could install an Nginx server on a Digital Ocean droplet and host multiple static sites on one droplet. That is far more cost effective than Heroku, emphasizing the benefit of doing the DevOps yourself. Check out how you can create your own Digital Ocean Droplet.
CI (continuous integration) is a very important tool in the industry. A CI runs test against your code automatically and lets you know if any tests are failing or not for a specific commit. Travis CI can be integrated into GitHub to automatically run tests against pull requests. Blocking pull requests with failed tests helps keep the master branch working with a lower possiblity of regressions. Learn more about Travis CI here
Travis CI gives you unlimited builds for private repos while you are a student so be sure to take advantange of this amazing service!
Sometimes your users will find bugs and you will have no idea what exactly happened, or if it ever happened. Having error reporting is crucial for production apps and that is where Sentry comes into play.
Sentry allows you to log errors in your code so that when they occur in production, you can see detailed information on what caused that error, how many times it has occured, the severity of it, and more.
The free 500,000 events/month should be more than enough for you to utilize for any app you integrate Sentry in. View more info about Sentry's error monitoring service here.
Overall, the GitHub student pack offers plenty of resources for everyone. These were only my favorites, but it is only a small fraction of what it has to offer. I highly recommend you to take advantange of this awesome offer and utilize them for your next project!