How to use GitHub Actions to manage GitHub Docs

How to use GitHub Actions to manage GitHub Docs

Learn how to use GitHub Actions to manage GitHub Docs. Our project data is accessible via GitHub's comprehensive REST and GraphQL APIs, so we can use Actions to manage work for us!

Our project data is accessible via GitHub's comprehensive REST and GraphQL APIs, so we can use Actions to manage work for us!

Hello from the GitHub Docs team! We build everything you see at docs.github.com. Over the past year, we’ve written a bunch of GitHub Actions workflows to do some fun automation that saves us time and effort. We thought folks might be interested in a peek under the hood.

workflow run log

If you’re new to GitHub Actions, get started at https://docs.github.com/en/actions.

Our docs content and tooling are all open source, so you can check out our full suite of workflow files in https://github.com/github/docs/tree/main/.github/workflows.

Why use GitHub Actions for project management?

As the team responsible for documenting every aspect of GitHub, as well as managing open source contributions from the community, we have a lot of work to track. But every minute (or hour…) we spend on manual project management tasks is one we don’t spend on important content or site improvements that benefit users.

Fortunately, because we use GitHub issues and project boards to manage our work, our project data is accessible via GitHub’s comprehensive REST and GraphQL APIs. This means we can write programs to manage work for us!

GitHub’s APIs existed long before Actions, but in the old days, you had to write scripts from scratch, hook up an Octokit library, or use a framework like Probot. While Probot is awesome, Actions does a lot more heavy lifting out of the box. Within a YAML workflow file, you can use github-script and the GitHub CLI to access the full power of GitHub’s APIs, find and use prebuilt actions from the Marketplace, or write your own action!

We’ve found we can spin up a workflow file in a fraction of the amount of time it would take us to write a new script or create an app. And the YAML format is friendly enough that every member of our team is empowered to contribute, not just engineers.

sample workflow

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