Learning Git for Beginners

Everyone who uses Git has been a beginner at some point, and had to go through the Git basics to properly use the tool to its potential. By learning the Git basics with Git Scientist, you will quickly become a pro.

What is Git?

Git is the industry standard version control system. You use Git to record changes to your code as you write them over time, creating a record of what you've done. It's useful in teamwork by unlocking multiple collaborative workflows and peer review. These features make Git an essential tool to know.

Why Git?

Git is used by teams of scientists all over the world to track changes to their codebases. Git makes working with code so much easier.

Learning Git helps you collaborate, with peer review allowing colleagues to run through your code and give meaningful advice. GitHub, too, is a pool of resources at your fingertips that beginners may struggle to use properly.

You can be by yourself or working with others - the answer is the same: Git is the best way to work with code efficiently and effectively.

Everyone who writes code needs to know how to use Git.

Git basics for beginners

Our Git for Scientists training course covers everything you need to know about Git and GitHub.

We teach command line Git as it's easily accessible on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Using the command line helps you to learn: GUIs often obscure the workings of Git. Essentially, command line Git is faster to use than a GUI.

It doesn't matter if you have no experience with Git, GitHub, or the command line. Taking our course will give you a great grounding in the basics of Git, including:

  • The fundamentals - This involves command line basics, clone, commit, push, pull, remote and local repos. We take you through these to give you a firm understanding.
  • Best practice - To fully use Git History, you need to write good commit messages and know how to use pull requests. Plus, you’ll learn how to set up a secure GitHub account.
  • How to move quickly - Relevant for both single and team workflows. We share our custom Git aliases, which create shortcuts to Git commands.

Git for Scientists helps you work quickly and confidently with Git, with our practical exercises helping you deal with real broken repos in a low-risk setting on your own machine. This will make you more capable in higher-risk situations in the future.

Collaboration and Git History

The best thing about Git and GitHub is that you can easily collaborate with others. But this is also where most of the problems crop up. For beginners, unexpected errors can be confusing.

The Working Together section of Git for Scientists builds on the basics by covering:

  • Branches
  • Pull requests with GitHub
  • How to fix Merge conflicts
  • How to use the Git history
  • Collaborative Git workflow

Pull requests allow you to discuss code changes you want to make with your colleagues and collaborators. We teach you how to use them effectively. This combines with our previous training on commit history to allow you to fully benefit from Git History, which is made up of the commit history and the PR history.

Learning Git as a beginner with Git for Scientists turns you into a real team asset. You gain a new confidence and adaptability to tackle problems that come up. With your new skills, your mistakes can be quickly solved and quality is controlled.

Take the next step

Git for Scientists includes 3 further sections especially useful for scientists, which sees you improve your Git skills even more:

  1. We teach you how to get the best out of Git and Jupyter Notebooks together – an open-source Python notebook commonly used to create and share code.
  2. Forking repos and how to keep multiple remotes in-sync. This allows you to copy open source code and then build on it yourself independently.
  3. Advanced Git - Relevant tips that allow you to maximise your benefit from using Git.

You can read more about what you'll learn here.

By the end of the Git for Scientists training course, you won't be a beginner any more.

Get started today.

Thomas Bradbury
Thomas Bradbury
Want to get better at Git?
Get our Git & GitHub tips every week.