Used by over 94% of programmers, Git is the most popular distributed version control application in the world. Git is an efficiency tool that programmers use to document changes in source code, archive prior versions of their code, and keep a record of the changes made between different source code files when collaborating with other developers. If you’ve always wanted to learn Git but can’t figure out how to get started, this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn more about the various ways to learn Git, free resources to take advantage of, and the types of careers that commonly use Git.
Git is an open-source programming tool that allows users to effortlessly track the changes made during the early stages of software development. It allows individual programs to keep a record of the changes that they have made to easily restore or back-up earlier versions of their code and it allows teams of developers to record the changes that individual members make to a file or program. Designed to support distributed non-linear workflow, Git allows programmers to create non-linear histories and branched records of how a program has been developed over its time in Git.
Developed in 2005 for Linux, Git has since become one of the most commonly used distributed version control software. In 2022, nearly 94% of computer programmers report using Git as a vital part of their regular programming activities. This means that learning Git is an important skill for anyone hoping to undertake collaborative development projects, particularly in open-source communities where it is expected that many development histories will be documented using Git.
Read more about what Git is and why you should learn it.
Git can be used to ensure that you have a detailed record of all the changes being made to a file of code. Individual users can take advantage of this documentation to quickly restore or reconstruct prior versions of code or to see where specific changes were made if those changes came with unintended consequences. Groups of developers can use Git to collaborate more effectively on a shared file as the system will keep track of all the changes made independently, providing a stable record of how each developer impacted the file over time.
In addition, thanks to the prevalence of Git Hub, learning Git will significantly expand a developer's ability to store and share their software. Since each instance of Git on a computer stores its own directory and history, the documentation on your programs is not operating at the whims of an external source or mainframe, making the histories far more stable. In addition, GitHub lets users publish and share code effortlessly, making community-driven collaboration all the more productive. Git and GitHub help fuel community-driven software development, and learning how to use these tools will ensure that you, too, can participate in these projects.
Recent self-reporting surveys suggest that 95% of all developers and programmers utilize Git to document their code. In addition, GitHub has nearly 83 million users, making it an important tool for professional web development collaboration projects. However, since Git is a documentation tool, it doesn’t allow users to produce anything on its own. This means that no career path will strictly utilize Git. Rather, they will use Git to improve their workflow as web and software developers. A few careers that commonly make use of Git include:
Front End Developer: Front End Developers are responsible for building the client-facing aspects of a web application or webpage, such as interactive elements, visual designs, and e-commerce applications. They will use Git to collaborate with other developers, as most modern web applications are built by teams of developers rather than by individuals. In addition, many Front End Developers will be tasked with maintaining webpages and applications, meaning that they will use Git to track changes made if they need to return to a prior version of their code.
Software Engineer: Software Engineers, as the name implies, build software and other applications using a wide array of coding languages. Given the ubiquitous nature of computers in our daily lives, Software Engineers work in virtually every field. Software Engineers typically work in a deadline-focused environment, ensuring that projects are completed as quickly as is reasonable. They will use programs like Git to ensure their work is as efficient as possible. Unlike Web Developers, Software Engineers will be tasked with learning many different coding languages, but the scope of their projects will be more expansive.
Software Project Manager: Most software development projects, as well as most web development projects, are the work of multiple teams of dozens to hundreds of designers and developers working together to complete a project. These teams will be managed and overseen by Software Project Managers who work to ensure that the project runs smoothly and the project is delivered on time. They will utilize Git as a vital efficiency tool, ensuring that multiple, nonlinear histories of their work is documented. They will also be tasked with coordinating the human element of the design process.
Since its public release in 2005, Git has become the world's most popular distributed version control application. Self-reporting numbers suggest that more than 90% of all developers regularly use Git to document and track program changes. This means that learning how to use Git will be essential for anyone hoping to collaborate with other programmers on software development or take advantage of other open-source software development resources, as the documentation for those programs is likely to be documented using Git. This makes learning Git a valuable skill for programmers with personal and professional development aspirations.
Learning Git is also helpful for personal development and storage. Since it is a non-linear distribution application, each version of Git that runs on a personal machine stores an entire repository of data concerning every version of every program it has been used to document. This means that the documentation storage isn’t reliant on a central server or main network, meaning that the files can be accessed without an internet connection and are less likely to be lost in the event of a network failure. Learning Git will help improve your workflow and ensure your data is well-maintained and stored in safe, durable locations.
Read more about why you should learn Git.
Given that it is a documentation and efficiency tool that developers use to improve their workflow, it is rare that Git is taught independently. Rather, it is taught as part of a web development or programming curriculum designed to teach students to become more efficient programmers. Students interested in learning Git should see if it is offered as part of the curriculum in any of Noble’s web development courses and gauge the level of additional coding knowledge that they hope to receive.
Many students find that live instruction is the best way to learn a new skill since the presence of a live instructor takes some of the challenges off of their shoulders. These classes are available both in person and online, meaning that students can choose whether they want to travel to attend a class with a group of like-minded students or if they want to learn from the comfort of their home workstations. No matter which options you choose, in a live instruction course, you can be sure that you’re getting expert training in web development, including how to use Git.
Students who need more flexibility in their training may find on-demand classes to be a desirable alternative. These courses let students learn at their own pace, picking up their studies when possible. In addition, since these classes aren’t taught by live instructors, students are freer to pick and choose the lessons they will learn. On-demand classes may also be an ideal place to learn Git in particular, because it is far more likely that a small on-demand class would teach Git on its own, making them an ideal place to look for students comfortable with their coding skills but need to master Git quickly.
Similarly, free training options are available for students looking to learn Git. Noble Desktop offers many free Git resources and tutorials on their Learn Git page. These resources are a great place to start learning how to utilize Git as a documentation tool if you are already familiar with the coding practices that Git will use to document. Students can learn specific Git skills, like how to build command lines, how to ignore specific files, and how to clone, push, or pull a file using Git. In addition, several video tutorials are available on the Web Development playlist on Noble’s official YouTube channel.
Read the full guide on how to learn Git.
In a professional training environment, Git is rarely learned on its own. Rather, students taking web development or programming courses will learn the basic principles of Git during their lessons. students looking to learn more about Git without committing to a development course will want to consider the free options available. Noble Desktop provides a brief tutorial in the What is Git & What is GitHub video offered on their official YouTube page. This short course gives an overview of the basic features and functions of Git, making it an ideal place for students to learn how to use the software application.
Students may also want to explore the free introductory options available through other service providers such as Udemy and Coursera. These providers offer asynchronous, on-demand learning options for students who want to learn Git without investing in a full web development or software engineering course.
Read about more free Git videos and online tutorials.
Git is a relatively approachable program for anyone with a computer science background who understands the documentation it is being used to track. If you have programming experience, picking up Git won’t be much of a problem. For students learning to program while learning Git, it can be a more daunting task, as it is adding another complicated technical skill on top of an early coding education. It isn’t impossible to learn Git without much prior programming knowledge. Still, students will find that the two concepts strongly correlate and that the more comfortable they get with coding, the more comfortable they become with Git.
While there are no formal prerequisites to learning Git, because it is a tool to streamline workflow and make the process of software development more accessible and more efficient, there isn’t any reason to learn Git without knowing how to program. This is why many professional training programs teach Git as part of their web development curriculum. Technically you don’t need to know how to code to learn Git, but coding is a prerequisite to using Git.
Git is an open-source application that runs on all major operating systems. It can be downloaded from Git’s main webpage.
Read about how difficult it is to learn Git.
While other distributed version control tools are available, Git has so thoroughly established itself as an industry-standard tool that they will see almost no professional use in 2022. While students can explore their options outside of relatively niche circumstances, learning Git will be far more profitable in the long term.
Another consideration when learning Git is whether it is the right development tool or skill to complement your existing skills. Git is far more narrow in its function than other web design tools, but it is an integral part of more advanced development processes. This means that when choosing the web development tool you want to learn, there are a few things to consider.
The first is whether or not you intend to learn coding in general, and if so, what elements of coding you are interested in learning. There is no reason to learn Git without also learning how to code, so you’ll need to decide if you want to learn skills like HTML/CSS for web development, Python for data science, or SQL for database maintenance (among many others). While more Git training is provided in an introductory coding course, students should consider how they want their coding education to develop.
Students may also be interested in learning coding tools like Emmet and Visual Studio Code. Emmet is a set of HTML/CSS coding plug-ins that will significantly improve the speed and efficiency of coding for basic web development projects. Visual Studio Code is the most commonly used source code editor on the market today. Learning Visual Studio Code can also assist in your Git training, as it has an embedded Git function. Learning one of these tools won’t prevent you from learning the others, but how students prioritize learning different tools is essential.
Unlike many skills, the best way to learn Git will be less dependent on what you want to get out of your Git training as much as it will depend on how much complementary training you wish to receive. There aren’t many immersive, hands-on Git programs available because it is an efficiency and documentation tool, meaning that it doesn’t do anything for a person to learn if they aren’t also learning how to code. Thus, the best way to learn Git is almost certain to depend on how much coding you want to learn while learning Git.
Students with significant prior coding knowledge who want to learn Git to help streamline the work they are currently doing will want to consider purchasing on-demand courses that quickly cover Git. These students may also seek free learning options since the Git-using community is large enough that free resources are readily available.
Since Git is an open-source efficiency tool, you’ll rarely find a course that strictly teaches students how to use it. Instead, students will learn Git as an essential complementary skill in more formal web development or programming course. This means that students looking to learn are aspiring to be programmers or developers, meaning that web development training will likely be a part of their future. To assist with this, Noble offers a wide variety of web development courses designed to fit your needs as a student.
A Git repository (or repo for short) contains all of the project les and the entire revision history. Learn the Git command to make a repository.
From web developers to app developers, Git and GitHub are useful to anyone who writes code and works with other developers. So what are they all about and why should you start using them?
To use Git, you must first install it. Installing Git is different on Mac and PC, so follow the appropriate instructions below depending on your operating system.
Git allows you to work more easily with other developers. Because you want to know who worked on a file and how to contact them, you need to tell Git your name and email.
While there is a lot you can do via the command line interface, the main thing you need to know how to do for Git is to navigate to a folder.
Think of Git as keeping a list of changes to files. So how do we tell Git to record our changes? Each recorded change to a file (or set of files) is called a commit. Read to learn more.
There will be some files that you don't want Git to track. You can use a .gitignore file to list the files and/or folders that Git should ignore.
A ReadMe file is a standard place for instructions or documentation that you want to share with people about a repo. Here's how to add a ReadMe file to your Git repo.
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