How to write your first Readme file!

Hey Steven, what is a ReadMe!?

A ReadMe is the start of the documentation of your project on GitHub. Documenting any project (especially if it is open sourced) should always begin with a good README so that potential users can understand what your work is about.

A ReadMe usually describes what kind of project it is, how it can be useful, how to install and use it — as well as the list of those who help work on it, guidelines for future contributions, license notice and whatever else you (the developer) would want other people to read.

Think of your ReadMe as the front page cover of a newspaper… or your 30-second elevator pitch.

Some things to think about:

  1. What does your project do, what is its purpose? Share the vision that your project is trying to meet and your intentions.
  2. How is it set up? If another developer were to find and use your files, how would they get everything running in their local environment? What are the steps?
  3. How to use it! Once the user has got it running, provide some very descriptive examples of how to use it.
  4. Is it in good shape? Do you have code climate or other tools running to indicate the health of the project? Include information on dependencies as well.
  5. How can others help? In the field of software especially, development Collaboration yields amazing software! It’s a good idea to make it easy for others to get involved with your project by letting them know how to submit new features, report issues, or offer other assistance. file offers a great break down.
  6. License information Don’t forget to let others know what license your project is released under. Not sure? Oreilly has an open book on understanding licensing.

Click here for a ReadMe template

Check out this post to learn how to create a better