1 Introduction

This workshop covers the basics of using Git to track and record changes to files on your local computer. This allows you to compare versions over time, recall earlier changes you made, and effectively collaborate on writing code and documents.

This is a hybrid workshop. First, read independently work through sections 1-3 of this reader at your own pace and ensure that you have successfully installed Git on your local computer. Next, join us for the live, interactive session (details below), during which we will use Git to learn and practice how to manage files on our local computers.If you need help troubleshooting your installation, drop-in to DataLab’s office hours prior to the interactive session to ensure that you will be able to follow along on your own machine.

The full workshop description can be found here.

1.1 Interactive Session Information

The workshop includes a live, interactive session to be held via Zoom on Wednesday, February 15, 2021 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Zoom login information will be sent to all registered participants via email; reach out to datalab-training@ucdavis.edu the day prior if you received a registration confirmation but have not received your Zoom link.

1.2 About this Tutorial

This online tutorial provides background information that will help participants to better understand the concepts introduced during the interactive session. It also includes information to help you successfully install Git on your local computer, which must be completed prior to the interactive session. Instructions for installing Git are in section 3.

1.3 Prerequisites

In addition to installing Git, we ask that you:

  • Be familiar with your computer’s file navigation system (Finder for Mac, as an example)
  • Have basic facility with using a command line interface, such as Terminal or Git Bash

Need to brush up on the command line? The DataLab runs a workshop, “Introduction to the Unix Command Line.” You can find a reader for that at this link; there’s also a recording for this session.

1.4 Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the history of version control systems (VCS), including their value and function
  2. Explain how a VCS manges files on your computer
  3. Successfully install and run Git on your local computer
  4. Interact with Git via your computer’s command line
  5. Successfully create local repositories and place your files under version control
  6. Compare multiple versions of the same file and roll back to earlier versions
  7. Perform basic branching and merging operations
  8. Identify where to go to learn more