Anatomy of a Repository

Anatomy of a GitHub Repository

  • Readme files. The files explain what your project is, and how to install and use it. is the file that is automatically displayed when you open a GitHub repo.

  • License. Without some sort of licence, the contents of the repository are technically closed. Some allow users of the code to do anything they like with their code - these are known as permissive licences. Examples are the MIT Licence or Apache.

  • Contributing guide - make a file called and guidelines for contributors so they know what they should do if they want to help you out.

  • Code of Conduct - good projects have codes of conduct to make sure that people are treated well. Github has an Code of Conduct wizard to make it easy to add one.

  • Issues - use GitHub issues to record and discuss tasks.

(This list was largely inspired by Mozilla’s open leadership 101.

Example repositories