A Kentucky State University professor recently earned the certification required to become a Github campus advisor.

Dr. Jens Hannemann, associate professor of computer science at Kentucky State, recently earned the certification.

“As a GitHub advisor, I will help students to set up their GitHub portfolios according to industry best practices,” Hannemann said.

Hannemann said students (not only in computer science, but in any area where writing source code is part of the job) are expected to know the basic and intermediate use of Git when they enter the workforce.

“Employers will expect students to have a source code portfolio on GitHub just as they are expected to have a LinkedIn profile so that employers can evaluate students’ proficiency with the most important tool they will use throughout their career,” Hannemann said.

According to Hannemann, Git is a tool for version control of software and other text-based documents and GitHub is the world’s largest hosting platform for Git repositories.

“You can think of GitHub as something like Facebook/LinkedIn for coders and code,” Hannemann said.

As campus advisor, Hannemann said his new responsibilities include being a liaison between the GitHub Education people and the University, assisting faculty in incorporating Git and Github in their classes and students in how to effectively use Git and GitHub.

“I cannot stress how important knowledge of Git and its proper usage is for our STEM students,” Hannemann said. “It is a very powerful and complex tool. Although version control systems are not new (I have a Git repository for code I wrote for my Ph.D. thesis that is 22 years old and that I have migrated between three different systems), universities still do a very bad job of teaching proper use of software engineering tools and best practices.”

Hannemann said that instead of getting a formal introduction in a class, students are supposed to pick those skills up on the fly, which simply does not work for complex tools like version control systems, or compilers.

“When I came to Kentucky State in 2012, the first thing I did was design and offer a class on software engineering for games (DGE 300), which fills that gap,” Hannemann said. “GitHub makes my life teaching that class a bit easier and makes Git more accessible to my students.”

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