This past Tuesday, LearningFuze sponsored a Meetup to talk about the most popular web-based repository service, GitHub and it was a full house! While enjoying some Pizza and networking with other interested, aspiring developers there was some serious discussion around Git and GitHub and the central role version control and repositories play in a dev environment.
Whether you are an accomplished developer or someone just starting to code, GitHub is key to successfully coding and collaborating in a dev environment. Eric Johnson, who has been coding for 10+ years and is a lead instructor at LearningFuze provided an hour and half of introductory training on effectively utilizing the service. If participants learned anything from the session it’s how important it is to commit to GitHub on a daily basis not only for entry level and Jr. level developers, but for anyone that is serious about development. There were several important instructional topics shared during the hour and half that provided important insight into the world of Git and GitHub.
- What is Git? Git is the most widely used distributed Version Control System (VCS) for software development, which enables teams to store and keep track of changes to text files made by development teams. A VCS such as Git allows collaborators to see what changes were made, who made them, and when. More importantly it allows teams to safely revert back in time should any updates cause havoc – you can learn about it by reading the very popular and detailed Pro Git book (Free Online Version).
- What is GitHub? GitHub is the world’s most popular web-based Git repository hosting service and it has helped the developer community make leaps and bounds because of its easy to use collaboration tools and social features. GitHub also happens to be an invaluable tool for entry-level developers to not only accelerate their learning, but also keep track of their coding inventory and skills; something potential future employers would definitely want to see.
- Why do we us it? GitHub enables multiple people/teams, no matter their location, to easily collaborate and keep a workflow around their projects. This also aids team leads and collaborators in tracking down issues faster and provides a great safety net in development cycles. It is important to know the source of any particular problem so it is easier to debug any errors. Collaboration can be easily done remotely or off-site, wherever you are, as long as you have your computer and Internet access which frees up a lot of wasted inefficiencies and speeds developement.
- How do I use it (not a Tutorial, just an overview)? Git must first be installed on an individual’s computer (https://git-scm.com/downloads) in order to take advantage of GitHub (http://github.com). You can now actually create and upload files directly in GitHub, but we recommend users not shy away from learning how to use a command line terminal. Create a new local project by using a text editor of your choice such as Sublime Text, or Brackets. Then use the Terminal to connect to your GitHub user account and initialize a directory on your computer that is a Git repository – now you can start keeping track of your edits on your local computer and upload them into your GitHub account under your brand new repository.
It might not be so easy to understand what git is from day 1 but it is definitely an important tool for professional developers and once you start using it on a daily basis it gets easier and easier very quickly. You can find all the resources you need to get started here.
If you want to learn more on various web development related topics, LearningFuze hosts Meetup training session open to anyone each month (http://www.meetup.com/LearningFuze-Irvine-Web-Development-Training).
Keep learning and keep coding!