A quick introduction to using Git/Github — ADD, COMMIT, & PUSH
April 2, 2020
As of April 2nd, 2020 I have 106 Git repositories, which is more than any person should. Git is an open-source project developed by the creator of Linux — Linus Torvalds.
Git is a (Version Control System). The idea behind Git is very simple. Instead of having only a single place for code for software. Git offers a remote copy of the code in what’s called a repository and that can contain the full history of all changes at a contributor level. It’s also designed with performance, security, and flexibility.
Git is currently the industry standard. A requirement in any programming environment the level of experience can vary a lot. From a single person to a 50+ team with code reviews. If you are an inexperienced developer wanting to build up valuable skills in software development tools, when it comes to version control, Git should be on your list.
Ready to learn a practical example of Git?
Before starting I highly recommend using Git on the terminal instead of GUI. My reason is simple — Git UI doesn’t scale well in a collaborative environment. When I hire a new Software Engineer the first habit I break is using the GitHub desktop app.
Let’s say you started a new website project
Step 1 - Example Site
Start by creating new folder named
example-website with a single file called
<!doctype html> <html lang="en"> <head> <title>Hello, world!</title> </head> <body> <h1>Hello, world!</h1> </body> </html>
Step 2 - Github.com
Go to Github.com and setup a new Repo.
From the terminal
cd example-website git init
Step 3 - Add a remote
git remote add origin firstname.lastname@example.org:terrillo/example-website.git
Adding a remote connects your local computer with remote repositories. This process can be repeated across multiple computers. Alternatively, you can clone a repo to your local to get started.
git clone https://github.com/terrillo/example-website.git
When I first started using Git in 2010 I started using GIT as a way for me to try other people code I searched for on Github.
Step 4 - Add Files
The Git process is based around three workflow steps ADD -> COMMIT -> PUSH. Each file must be added to a staging environment before you can commit.
Add a single file
git add index.html
Add all files
git add --all
After adding files you can use the status command to see what you have done for.
Git status response —
On branch main No commits yet Changes to be committed: (use “git rm — cached <file>…” to unstage) new file: index.html
Each file and directory can be easily identified by the green and red statuses.
Step 5 - Commit
After adding your files. The next step is to commit your work. Each commit is attached to a message.
git commit -m “First commit”
This message is what you will see when browsing your history. In the beginning, you’ll have nice and beautiful messages. With time your messages started to become more crypt-like, “ugh”, “another bug fix”, and “oops”. It happens to all of us.
[main (root-commit) 6581e1b] First commit 1 file changed, 22 insertions(+) create mode 100644 index.html
After each commit, you get this motivational message with the number of files changed and lines inserted and deleted.
Before going on to the next step. Git is even better when used with a modern text editor like Atom or VS Code. These editors make Git worth it for personal projects. After changing the title in the index.html Atom highlights that line as a change. A small feature that can have a big impact on your workflow.
git add --all git commit -m “Title change”
Step 6 - Push
This next step is the process of updating your remote repo. Its best to push after every commit but it’s really up to you based on your workflow.
git push origin main
origin — the remote name
main — the branch name
Enumerating objects: 6, done. Counting objects: 100% (6/6), done. Delta compression using up to 4 threads Compressing objects: 100% (4/4), done. Writing objects: 100% (6/6), 1.09 KiB | 1.09 MiB/s, done. Total 6 (delta 1), reused 0 (delta 0) remote: Resolving deltas: 100% (1/1), done. To github.com:terrillo/example-website.git * [new branch] main -> main
That’s a really basic introduction to using Git. With this basic setup, you can start backing up all your code remotely with the option to view the complete history of each file.
Thanks for reading