Introduction to Git and Github – Week 2


When discussing tools used for the open-source programs, git and Github are the two tools that inevitably come up.

What is git and Github and why are they so prominent in the open-source world?

Git is a distributed version control software, which means that you can access and modify your code on your own computer in the version of the program you see fit.

By contrast, the alternative to git is a centralized version control software, which requires you to connect to a server with the code to make changes to the program.

As you might guess, this distributed approach not only allows greater flexibility of how you could work but also leads to fewer conflicts that may arise from people sharing the same “workspace”.

Of course, git still involves the main code base (referred to as the master repository). Github is a free and open platform that is often used to host this repository, along with other versions of the code known as “branches”.

If you are confused at this point, have no fear – while git is somewhat infamous for its difficult user interface, there are only a few commands and workflows that you need to know to make use of git (as with all tools). I, for one, just know about and use ~10 commands.

Instead of attempting to learn about all the git commands (of which there are many), I would recommend that one prioritize learning about the git workflow (how to use the commands effectively).

Here are the three links I recommend, in order:

Essential Git Commands

Git Workflow

How to Use Github

As always, do inform me if the coverage of the materials are too brief/long/quick/slow – I’ll try to adjust accordingly.

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