Set up a GitHub account

If you don't have a GitHub account, you'll need to create one first at (the free version will be fine). Then go to

The template we're going to base a new bot on, Hello World Bot, is made up of 7 files (one of them is not visible in this screenshot. I'll explain why further down).

  • is a file that most GitHub repos have. It describes what the project does and how to use it.
  • book.txt is where the text of a book will go.
  • handles the logic of getting lines out of our book file, and deleting them after they're tweeted.
  • handles authenticating with Twitter and posting tweets.
  • tests that the bot does what it's supposed to do. We'll cover the basics of unit testing in one of the last chapters.
  • Finally, will hold our authentication secrets which we'll cover in the next section. is not included in the template repo since we don't want to make our authentication info publicly accessible.

What did we just do?

GitHub is a service that allows us to share projects with others. It uses Git, a program for keeping track of changes to a project. There's nothing about Git or GitHub that's specific to programming. You could use it to keep track of changes to a novel or any other project you might want to share with other people, as long as it can be represented as a group of files. For this tutorial, we're going to be taking "hello-world-bot," an example Twitter bot that's hosted on GitHub, copying it, and turning it into a whole new bot.

Git and GitHub are very complex and have a lot of different features that we won't be covering in this tutorial. If you're interested in getting started with Git and GitHub, I highly recommend the Don't Be Afraid to Commit tutorial.

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