GitHub Actions Essentials

Automate, Integrate, Deploy: Unlocking the Power of GitHub Actions

GitHub Actions Essentials Book Cover

About the Book

  • Learn how to set up and customise your GitHub Actions workflows
  • Implement Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment
  • Optimise performance and security of your actions
  • Discover advanced techniques and best practices

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GitHub Actions Essentials is your definitive guide to mastering the world of GitHub Actions, a powerful automation tool that simplifies your software development workflow. From setting up your first workflow to exploring advanced techniques and best practices, this comprehensive resource covers everything you need to know to streamline your development process. With practical examples and step-by-step instructions, you'll learn how to create custom actions, implement continuous integration and deployment, optimize workflow performance, and automate project management tasks. Whether you're a seasoned developer or just getting started with GitHub Actions, this book will empower you to unlock the full potential of automation in your projects, saving you time and improving your software quality.

  1. Introduction
    1. What are GitHub Actions?
    2. Why use GitHub Actions?
    3. GitHub Actions vs. Other CI/CD Tools
  2. Getting Started with GitHub Actions
    1. Setting Up Your Repository
    2. Understanding YAML Syntax
    3. Anatomy of a GitHub Actions Workflow
  3. Building Your First Workflow
    1. Workflow Triggers: Events and Scheduling
    2. Defining Jobs and Steps
    3. Using Pre-Built Actions
    4. Running Shell Commands
  4. Managing Workflow Execution
    1. Environment Variables and Secrets
    2. Job and Step-Level Conditions
    3. Matrix Builds and Parallelisation
  5. Creating Custom GitHub Actions
    1. Docker-based Actions vs. JavaScript-based Actions
    2. Building a Docker-based Action
    3. Building a JavaScript-based Action
    4. Versioning and Publishing Your Custom Action
  6. Leveraging the GitHub Actions Marketplace
    1. Discovering and Evaluating Actions
    2. Popular Actions for Common Tasks
    3. Integrating Third-Party Services
  7. Implementing Continuous Integration with GitHub Actions
    1. Automated Testing
    2. Code Quality and Linting
    3. Code Coverage and Reporting
  8. Implementing Continuous Deployment with GitHub Actions
    1. Deploying to Cloud Platforms
    2. Deploying to On-Premises Servers
    3. Deploying Static Websites and GitHub Pages
  9. Securing and Optimizing Your GitHub Actions Workflows
    1. Workflow Security Best Practices
    2. Caching and Artifact Management
    3. Performance Optimisation Tips
  10. Advanced GitHub Actions Techniques
    1. Workflow Templates and Reusable Workflows
    2. Handling Workflow Dependencies
    3. Automating Project Management and Collaboration
  11. Conclusion
    1. Recap of Key Concepts
    2. Further Resources and Learning
  12. Appendix A: GitHub Actions YAML Reference
  13. Appendix B: List of Useful GitHub Actions and Integrations

Dave Cross is a freelance software engineer with a career in the IT industry that spans more than three decades. Having worked extensively with source code control throughout his career, Dave is well-versed in the intricacies of the subject. As an experienced Perl practitioner, he has authored several books on the topic and is a regular speaker at tech conferences.

Since adopting git and GitHub in 2008, Dave has gained valuable insights into these platforms, which he shares in "GitHub Actions Essentials" to help readers make the most of the powerful automation tool for their development workflows.

Outside of his tech-focused pursuits, Dave enjoys attending live music events and delving into his family tree. Join him on this journey as he guides you through mastering GitHub Actions for a more streamlined software development experience.

"This is a professionally written general introduction to GitHub and its Actions feature. I found the writing and examples clear and concise. Well worth the price compared to the other offerings at the time."