Git is the industry-standard distributed version control software in the professional development industry. Used by nearly 95% of programmers, learning how to use Git will be a vital skill for anyone hoping to build a career out of software engineering or web development. The number of options for learning Git might be overwhelming at first glance. There are books, video tutorials, classes, and more to choose from; it all depends on your learning style and personal preferences.
Here, we’ll discuss the various methods of learning Git so you can decide how you’d like to get started.
What is 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.
What Can You Do with Git?
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.
In-Person Git Training
Students looking to learn to code, and by extension Git, often find that in-person training options are preferable to online courses. These courses allow students to work directly with instructors and like-minded colleagues at dedicated training facilities. Students benefit from being in a classroom and working alongside other students, particularly when learning a tool that is often leveraged for collaborative purposes like Git. The issue to consider for in-person instruction is that these classes tend to be the least accessible for students, since they will need to commute to a training location, primarily in major cities. Some students may find that this simply isn’t possible for several reasons.
Noble Desktop offers in-person training courses at its main training campus in Manhattan. At a world-class training center, students can learn web development skills, including Git, from Noble’s expert instructors. Students who cannot regularly commute to New York City should consider exploring the options available near their homes. For example, students in the Pacific Northwest can explore the options through Epicodus, while Ironhack services students in Miami.
Live Online Git Training
Students not located near a major city or training center but still want to learn Git and web development will want to consider online learning options. These classes are taught by live instructors who can interface directly with students. Students can ask questions, receive instructor feedback, and get direct assistance when troubles arise. The drawback to these classes is that some students miss the directed focus of the classroom space, and these classes will require students to maintain and acquire their own tech.
Noble Desktop offers all of its in-person classes through live online Git classes. These classes are taught by the same expert instructors who provide in-person instruction and they offer all of the benefits of Noble classes, including small class sizes and free retakes within a year. Many students find that the ability to learn from their homes is a tangible advantage when they aren’t losing out on the advantages of live instruction. Students may also wish to consider the options available through online service providers such as Thinkful and DevMountain.
Free Online Courses & Tutorials
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.
On-Demand Git Classes
Git is one of the few skills where on-demand training may be preferable for a large number of students. Since Git is an efficiency tool rather than a necessary programming skill, live classes rarely teach only Git skills. Instead, the training is rolled up into a more extensive introductory coding and web development course. However, since they tend to be less involved and easier to produce, on-demand course providers are more likely to have options for students who only want to learn Git (presumably because they are comfortable with their web design skills).
However, these courses have the drawback of lacking a live instructor to guide students through learning Git. Even though Git is relatively easy to use, it is still a complicated bit of software, meaning that some students will still find it challenging to learn. If students encounter problems with online training, they will need to find other routes to clear up these difficulties. Plus, students must be judicious in which course they enroll in since applications like Git change frequently enough that even reputable service providers may have outdated videos.
Which Learning Method is Right for Me?
With so many different resources available to help beginners learn Git, you might be unsure which one is best for you. Everyone has different learning styles and preferences, and you can experiment with multiple tools to see which one feels right for you. One of the great things about directing your own learning is that you get to pick which combination of tools you prefer; you don’t have to stick with what a teacher chooses.
It’s also essential to consider your current schedule before selecting a learning method. If you have a lot of responsibilities like a full-time job or family commitments, you may not be able to devote time to a structured course that requires you to attend at the same time every day. In this case, a self-paced class or video tutorials may be better since you can access them when your schedule allows. On the other hand, those with a more flexible schedule may prefer a structured course offered in-person or live online.
Why Learn Git?
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.
Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost
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.
Learn Git with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop
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.
- Git is an industry-standard tool for documenting and archiving changes made to source code. Anyone working in a professional development field will want to learn how to use Git to collaborate more effectively.
- Students have several options to learn how to use Git and the best option for them will likely depend on how much coding experience they have.
- Students who need to learn how to code will want to learn that skill alongside Git in a live online or in-person web development course.
- Students with a coding background may want to learn Git through a targeted on-demand course.
- Students who need to learn how to code and want to learn Git should explore their options for web development training through Noble Desktop with courses available both in-person or live online.