Project Management: Issues and Projects

Codecademy Team
Learn about issues and projects on GitHub, two features that make it easier to track tasks!

The Issues Tab

When looking at a GitHub repository, we see a tab called Issues. This is a built-in GitHub tracking tool for all the bugs, errors, and potential small feature changes for the project living inside the repository. In one view, collaborators of the repository can see what needs to be worked on (open issues) as well as which tasks were resolved (closed issues). Take a look at the Codecademy docs Issue board:

The image shows a board of about 10-15 tasks that each have a title, a user associated, and multiple labels that indicate language or type of issue.

The issue board acts as a forum for all the collaborators of the repository. In some instances, issue boards are public and users of a project can submit and discuss bugs they’ve encountered.


To help organize issues when more and more pop up in a project, we can use labels. bug and feature are common labels used to differentiate between errors and new features. In the Codecademy Docs repo Issue board earlier, we could see labels such as Good first issue, if a suggested entry to Docs is new or an edit, and what language the entry should be in, like C# or Java. Labels help us toggle between different types of issues at a glance and have short names.

Creating an Issue

To create an Issue, we can click the New Issue button on top of the Issues board. This will take us to a new page where to set the title and content of the issue.

Issues are a bit like pull requests in that we want to keep the title specific but to the point. For descriptions, repositories often have their own guidelines (just like pull requests do) for including details. For example, if the issue is related to a bug, we should include the error message in the description. Check out a complete issue from the Facebook Folly repository:

An issue with a title Typedef redefinition #1658. The user included in the description the error message they encountered. The history shows where else this issue was mentioned and closed and reopened.

Once the issue is posted and now open, collaborators and other GitHub users can add to the discussion and reference this issue by the # in other issues and pull requests.

GitHub Project Management

GitHub projects is a beta feature (as of late 2021) for project management. While other project management tools exist, like JIRA or even handwritten post-its, GitHub projects allow direct integration within the repository, letting developers stay within the same ecosystem. We can also create automated project boards that trigger the status of issues and pull requests. And… it’s completely free!

To try out projects, we can select the New Project option after clicking the + button on the upper right side of the GitHub dashboard. In most cases, projects are linked to repositories, which already have existing issues and pull requests, but in other cases, projects can be standalone.

The dropdown menu from the top right of the GitHub dashboard, which shows the New Project option.

After filling out the name and description of the new project, a drop-down will appear asking what Project template we want to use.

The different project types include None, Basic kanban, Automated kanban, Automated kanban with reviews, and Bug triage.

The options range from different types of Kanban boards that can host issues and pull requests to a Bug Triage, which gives details into which bugs are high priority, low priority, or need further investigation. Once the board is created, we will add issues and pull requests to it.

An example of a laid-out GitHub project board is Github’s own public roadmap project, shown next. This is an example of a Project with no repository, as a roadmap can be used for organizational purposes.

The GitHub public roadmap that includes major issues (each with labels) for each quarter.


In this article, we learned about two GitHub features that can come in handy for teams: issues and projects. We can use GitHub issues to keep track of tasks that need to be worked on. Those issues can then be referenced in pull requests, comments, or projects. GitHub projects are an even newer feature for project management purposes and can be linked to repositories. We can choose from a variety of different board types to organize tasks.

We encourage you to try these out if you want to incorporate project management into your GitHub experience!