Git is a distributed source control system that is increasingly popular among software developers and teams. But what, exactly, IS Git, what does it do, and why is it such an excellent investment? Read on to find out!
What Exactly is Git?
Git is a software tool that stores content – typically code – and tracks changes to that code over time, from various contributors. As a distributed version control system, Git maintains two repositories – remote and local. The remote repository is stored on a server, while the local repository is stored on every contributor’s computer. It uses this system to keep track of changes and coordinate those changes with features such as branches and merges, which we’ll discuss later.
Benefits of Git in Software Development
You can see how Git is an extremely useful software, particularly for larger teams who might have dozens of developers working on different parts of a larger overall project, like a website or a mobile app. It has some key benefits for this sort of organization, as well:
Git’s branching capabilities are arguably its biggest advantage. Unlike a centralized version control system, branching with Git is both cost-effective and simple to merge. The feature branch workflow is very popular among Git users for those reasons. With feature branches, you gain access to an isolated environment for every change to your codebase. When a developer is ready to work on something—no matter its size, they will create a new branch. This is to ensure the master branch will always have production quality code.
Deploying feature branches is more reliable than editing production code directly, and it also has organizational benefits. Feature branches allow you to represent development work at the same granularity as your agile backlog.
Git performs extremely well and reliably when you compare it to other version control systems. With Git, you can easily perform new code changes, version branches can be effortlessly compared and merged, while codes are optimized for improved performance.
Algorithms used to develop Git take full advantage of the deep knowledge that is stored within, including the use of attributes to create real source code file trees, how files get modified over time, and what kind of file access patterns are deployed to recall code files when a developer needs to.
Git is not like Adobe SVN, where each developer gets a working copy pointing back to a single central repository. On the other hand, Git is a distributed version control system, and instead of a working copy, each developer has access to their own local repository stocked with a full history of commits.
This access to full local history allows Git to be fast because you no longer need a network connection in order to create commits, perform diffs between commits, or inspect prior file versions.
Distributed development has another advantage: making it easier to scale your engineering department. With SVN, if someone breaks the production branch, it affects other developers too because they won’t be able to check-in their changes until the break is fixed. When you use Git, there is no chance of running into such a block, and business will move on as usual as everybody continues working in their own local repositories and tending to their own business.
Lastly, distributed development creates a more reliable environment. Even if a developer destroys their own repository, they can simply clone another developer’s repository and start fresh.
Faster Release Cycle
Thanks to Git’s feature branches, enhanced distributed development, and high-performance, a faster release cycle is created. These capabilities help facilitate an agile workflow where developers are encouraged to share smaller changes more often. In turn, changes are able to be pushed down the deployment pipeline quicker than the monolithic releases we see commonly used with centralized version control systems.
Due to its fast release cycle, Git works extremely well with continuous integration and in continuous delivery environments. Git hooks enable you to run scripts when certain events happen inside a repository, allowing you to automate deployment as much as you choose to.
Start learning how to deploy and use Git today!
Install the Git Tools
Git is a distributed source control system with growing popularity among software developers. In this course, you will install the command line version of the Git client on your machine. You may be using a Windows, Mac, or Linux machine. In all cases, the installation and setup is fairly similar. You may wonder, “Why use the command line client of Git and not a graphical client?” That is a good question and one that we answer in this course. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to customize your command line interface and bookmark a few helpful sites. This course prepares you and your machine to get started using Git.