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GitHub Actions are like free computers.

Well, there is pricing, but even free plans get 2,000 minutes a month. You write configuration files for what you want these computers to do. Those configuration files go into a repo, so typically they do things specific to that repo. I’m sure that CI/CD is vast majority of GitHub Actions usage. That is, running your tests, and deploying your code. Which is absolutely fantastic.

But like I said, GitHub Actions are computers, so you can have them run whatever code you like. (I’m sure there is EULA stuff you are bound to, but you know what I mean.) Just like everybody’s favorite, serverless functions, GitHub Actions can do that same stuff. Wanna run a build process? Hit an API? Optimize images? Screenshot a URL? Do it up. Most actions are tied to specific events, like “run this code when I commit to a branch” or “run this code against this pull request.” But you can also schedule them on a cron schedule.

So you’ve got a free computer for 2,000 minutes a month you can run on a schedule. I’m sure that will breed some pretty interesting creativity, especially since GitHub Actions is a marketplace. Allow me to get around to the title of this post… I find Upptime an incredible clever usage of all this. You essentially get a free configurable uptime monitor for whatever you want.

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