When you are in the tech field, you have the ability to affect everything from health care to communications to entertainment. GitKraken, a free cross-platform Git client for Windows, Mac and Linux is giving developers the ability to collaborate, keep track of their work and focus on the task at hand.
Here are 5 devs who are using technology to help improve the world.
1. Making AI more Human
Who: Ricardo Rodrigues, Master’s Degree Student, Amadora, Portugal
What: My master’s project is to help make agents in gaming appear more “intelligent” so they can react to things that are happening around them.
I am building an agent that is more like an actor. For example in the action of throwing a ball; when you put your arm back, you look around, see what’s happening, and react to people around you. If you are throwing the ball in the house and your parents tell you that you shouldn’t be doing that, you reconsider. All of this input appears on your face and through your actions as emotion.
Right now, in video games and AI systems, that point is ignored. I want to make interactions like this more believable.
How: I was searching for a good Git Gui for Linux and I found that the UI in GitKraken is very nice and the Undo function is amazing. In Linux, there aren’t other programs that can compare. I also use GitKraken at my day job as a web designer. It helps me a lot because I can preview changes and discard bits of code I don’t want.
2. Improving Halo. Yes, THAT Halo
Who: Brayden Strasen, Southern California, USA
What: Halo 3 Custom Edition UI is an interface built for ElDewrito—a fan mod for Halo Online. It enables LAN-based online multiplayer use across the globe and includes many bugfixes and enhancements.
The menu adds the ability to manage friends, browse and join servers, change game settings, find games through matchmaking, and offers a wide range of customizability from the backgrounds pulled directly from the games to the music.
How: GitKraken lets me focus on building the menu, rather than learning how to use Git from the command line. Even as a Linux user, I don’t want to mess around with the command line when using the wrong command could have consequences on my project.
My most used feature is simply pushing commits so I can collaborate. The merge conflict tool also helps a lot when we happen to be working on the same file and then both want to commit our changes. Having an interface to do most of the work for us saves a lot of time that can be spent doing more development.
Being on opposite sides of the world from the people I collaborate with, GitKraken makes it possible for us to work on what we can and then commit the changes and build off of each other’s ideas.
3. Listening to the Universe
Who: Mat Malenta, Ph.D student in astrophysics, University of Manchester, UK
What: I am using GitKraken to communicate with radio astronomy antennas across the world to develop software for radio astronomy.
I am an astrophysicist by trade and a programmer by hobby and choice and I have chosen to use programming to solve problems to get the data we need. In Parkes Observatory, in Australia, we have new radio receivers with brand new technology no one has ever worked on before. The programming on my side is to get the data from the radio telescope to search for pulsars.
We got the system working and that’s a big milestone. We don’t have to ask if it is actually going to work anymore.
How: GitKraken has been helping with collaboration because I am working with physicists. People didn’t want to use Git at all, but with GitKraken, they have been using it because you only have to learn basic things like push, pull, and merge—you don’t have to worry about the details of those commands.
In GitKraken, you don’t have to learn all the commands, just understand the basic idea. Basically, you don’t have an excuse to not use Git with this tool.
4. Improving Food Tracking for those Living With GI Issues
Who: Greg Jacobs, Ontario, Canada
What: After being diagnosed with GI issues, I started using GitKraken to create a tool called, GastroTrack which helps people with GI issues to keep track of what they are eating and how it affects them. There were no sites out there to track and help facilitate conversations with doctors.
GastroTrack allows for multiple stages of diagnosis that can change the options available to you. For example, in the early stages of diagnosis, doctors want to know how much food you are taking in. You also have to track weight, how much water you are drinking, etc.
The goal is the track food, as well as flare-ups so that if you enter “milk” for example, the tool would tell you something like “Hey, you had milk on this date and you were sick for X number of days.” I want people to be proactive with life choices and for the app to do all the thinking for patients so they can get out there and live and enjoy their quality of life.
How: I was using SourceTree and found it was limiting. There are nuances in GitKraken that makes it exponentially faster to follow up with a person if need be.
5. Making Entertainment More Accessible
Who: Jarl Ostensen, Director of Engineering at Polystream, Guildford, UK
What: Polystream is a company that creates an HD application delivery solution for playable streamed content (complete gameplay experience on any device)
In essence, we are developing a platform for streaming games at a level of fidelity previously not achieved by anyone in this space. We work on both server- and client -side tech (C++, C#/.NET). We use Visual Studio.
How: May 2016, as we were setting up the dev team here at Polystream Ltd; we had a legacy SVN setup and we wanted to migrate to Git. With our previous experience being (mostly) with Perforce, we wanted something that had the same level of quality user experience. Not everyone on the team was comfortable with the thought of a CLI-only approach. GitKraken showed up in searches and the look, feel, and usability quickly made it a favorite.
The history and views are extremely useful, not the least when trying to hone in on a problem and having to do binary chops in the code to determine when/how a problematic change was introduced.
As we have been running into problems with SSH I am very impressed with the responsiveness and willingness to help us solve the problem that the team is offering; this level of care and craft is a winning formula.
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