Step Up Your GitHub Game With 3 Quick Features

Step Up Your GitHub Game With 3 Quick Features

Written by WWC Team


Blog title and author on teal background with yellow Github octocat on the far right partially cut off by end of graphic.

Written By Farhana Mustafa

GitHub is one of the many tools a software developer uses daily for version control using git, if they aren’t using BitBucket, GitLab, etc. 

Here are 3 quick features that can elevate how you use GitHub, for your personal brand and for speeding things up at work. 

Add a README to your profile

Back in 2020, GitHub introduced adding files to user profiles. When people go directly to your GitHub link, they’ll see your README first, along with your pinned projects. Your README can include anything you want to showcase, like an About section and other contact information.

GitHub’s mascot Octocat has a README on their profile

GitHub has great documentation on how to add a README to your profile: Managing your profile README – GitHub Docs.

Jenee Smith, Software Engineer at Microsoft, presented about the profile README and more at Women Who Code’s CONNECT Empower 2023. Check it out here.

Embeddable Badges

To spice things up in your profile’s README, you can include embeddable badges. These are images that can show dynamic or static information of the links they open up. Since Markdown supports HTML, it makes it super easy to incorporate badges. 

A really popular website for finding the perfect badge is This lets you provide a visually pleasing way to provide a link to your Twitter account or showcase how many subscribers you have on YouTube. 

There’s also many other places you can grab badges to showcase dynamic stats. For example, if you use CI/CD solutions like Jenkins or Travis CI, you can include the badge that gives you a quick overview on your build’s status. This is great for private enterprise repositories as well as open source projects. 


Opening your first pull request on a new project is an exciting milestone to achieve. Soon enough, you’ll be opening pull requests as easily as it is to breathe. However, there’s this one tedious task of searching up people’s usernames before reviewing your pull request from them. This especially sucks when you work at a big company where it’s more than likely that one person has the same name as someone else, only to be differentiated from one another with a number e.g. janedoe and janedoe1. Which Jane Doe do I request for review?!

A great quality-of-life feature, and personally one of my favorite things GitHub offers, is the CODEOWNERS file. This can hold the usernames of the people who most contribute to the project. It only has to be created once and can easily be maintained as people come and go.

If you work with a small scrum team on a project, you can add the wild card (a.k.a the asterisk symbol *) followed by the GitHub usernames of the people who most contribute to the project. This will request these people for review for any file you’ve edited.

To start, create a new file called CODEOWNERS (all capital letters, no file extension) in the root, docs/, or .github/ directory of the repository. For more information, you can visit the GitHub docs:

Including a CODEOWNERS file in your project is beneficial for the first time contributors, like new engineers joining the initiative. They don’t have to hunt down the people who should be reviewing their pull request. Once the pull request is ready, these code owners are automatically requested for review.

To see a more complicated CODEOWNERS file, check out the one by Apple in the open sourced programming language Swift:

Wrap Up

GitHub offers many features that can help you elevate your personal brand and streamline your work. Adding a README to your profile, incorporating badges, and using the CODEOWNERS file are just a few ways to step up your GitHub game. With its extensive documentation and active community, there are always new tips and tricks to discover. So why not explore and see how you can make the most out of this powerful tool? 

Resource Links