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July 8, 2012 / carlispina

Learn Git with the Try Git Tutorial from GitHub and Code School

Coding is a very collaborative process and with the commitment many programmers make to creating only open source software, this collaboration can often take place between people who have never met or even communicated with one another. Using Git and GitHub can streamline this process since Git provides a means of managing distributed version control and GitHub provides a way of sharing these files with others. While both Git and GitHub are user-friendly, the initial learning curve for individuals who have never used either can be fairly steep. To help users navigate this learning curve, Code School and GitHub partnered to create an interactive online tutorial that teaches users how to use Git to share their code via GitHub. Released earlier this week, the free Try Git provides a quick introduction to the basic commands needed to manage and share code using GitHub.

Try Git’s format will be familiar to those who have used Code School’s Try Ruby tutorial or even the Code Year lessons from Codecademy. The content is divided into a series of 25 very short lessons and the entire tutorial can be completed in about half an hour. Each lesson includes a brief description of the concept being taught with an area below for the user to complete the lesson in their browser. Additional tips are included in an advice box at the bottom of the page (which is one of my few complaints about the lessons – it would be nice if this content were at the top of the page where it would be more noticeable).

I think this tutorial will be a great introduction to those who are new to Git and GitHub. The lessons start out at a very basic level and slowly progress through all the skills a beginner will need to integrate Git and GitHub into their programming routine. As part of the lesson, users set up a GitHub account, so even those who have not previously used the service will finish with an account ready to go and their first repository in place. As with other Code School tutorials, Try Git is fully integrated with social media, allowing users to share their progress on Facebook and Twitter as they go along. Those who complete the tutorial will also earn a badge that is added to their Code School account, which will be an added benefit for fans of gamification. I know lots of beginning programmers who want to learn how to use Git and GitHub, but find it difficult to wade through all the information that is out there on the topic. This tutorial is a great resource to help these people get started with Git. I would definitely recommend it.

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