GitHub Education for the Uneducated
GitHub Education caters to students and teachers. Once GitHub agrees that you belong to either of these groups, they shower you with a bunch of free and discounted stuff.
It turns out that research staff at a university (of which I am one) are also qualified for GitHub Education plans that are meant for teachers, although we really are not teachers.
GitHub Education seemed useful. With the discount, you get to use GitHub Teams for free. If you have a GitHub organization on a free tier, and if that organization could use some of the Team features, you can have them, without having to use a credit card.
Those features include:
- Branch protection rules on private repositories.
- More CI minutes (3000 instead of 2000).
- More storage for storing stuff (2GB instead of 500MB).
For my own future reference, the process I went through is documented below. I am certain this is documented somewhere in GitHub’s sprawling documentation (turned out that it actually is documented), and I am almost certain that the process will change by the time when I will need to look this up again, still.
Went to https://education.github.com to begin the sign up process.
GitHub asked me to select my academic status, and gave the option of choosing between “teacher” or “student”. Per GitHub, researchers also qualify for teacher benefits. I selected “teacher” status, and felt good about telling a permitted lie to the giant corporation.
Choose an email to use for school. My university email was already verified. Nothing to do there.
Using a webcam, take a picture of an ID or some kind of document under an official letterhead. Being a remote employee and having never been to campus, I never went through the motions required to obtain an ID, so I chose to upload a picture of a document I signed at the time of orientation, namely: Notice of Employee Working Out of State.
The upload indicator spun and spun for minutes. (Per GitHub this was supposed to take a few seconds.) During that glorious but brief period time, it seemed that I also had access to the same free stuff students get. Since my focus was getting a Team account for my team, I did not allow these distractions to distract me.
Canceled the upload, and took a picture again. The picture taking and uploading worked the second time, and my application was approved within some minutes. I don’t know if it was AI or human that approved me. I guess I will never know.
Went to the GitHub organization’s settings page, chose “billing and plans”, and tried to find the free “GitHub Team” option there. GitHub still wanted to charge a few hundreds of dollars per year, and asked for a credit card. Quickly backed off, and went looking around.
The looking around led me to GitHub Global Campus page, and there I was presented with an option to choose the organizations that are to be upgraded to a GitHub Team plan. Couple of clicks later, my organization was elevated to Team status.
That wasn’t so bad. It only took an afternoon.