Check out the project ideas document for some ideas on how to get started. The best advice, by far, is to start collaborating on something small, a low risk project, even if only internal to your organization (best places to get lunch near your office, chocolate chip cookie recipes, etc.) to learn the tools and go through the motions with stakeholders (legal, procurement, etc.) before embarking a larger, organization-wide undertaking.
Open source is about more than just publishing a project’s source code. Successful open source projects focus on growing communities around shared challenges. Take a look at the community building best practices to ensure your open source community thrives.
GitHub Pages allows you to easily create collaborative websites for your organization and its projects. For more information, take a look at this overview of GitHub pages, some GitHub Pages basics, and the getting started guide.
The principles and workflows that drive open source software can also be applied to government open data or policy. Open sourcing data or policy on GitHub provides stakeholders with a forum to surface feedback, exposes the document’s change history, and can even allow for crowd-sourced open data/government efforts. For more information see the open data and collaborative policy making documents.
In most jurisdictions, government created code is public domain, and in almost all situations, should be shared to the widest extent possible. For more information see the copyright faq and license guidence document.
Yes. See the security FAQ for more information.
For public repositories (open source), anyone can read what you publish and propose changes (which only you can approve/reject). For private repositories (closed source), only those to whom you grant permission can view your content or make changes. For more information about the various access control levels, see permissions and ownership.
Git is an open source version control system that, at its most basic level, tracks who made what change when. It’s a command-line tool, often used by developers, to collaborate on software. For more information and resources for getting started with the command-line version, see the resources section.
No. Most common operations can be completed entirely in the browser via GitHub.com. If you’d like a more visual tool to interact with GitHub repositories on your desktop, take a look at GitHub for Windows and GitHub for Mac.