Git

Let's set up git, and see how does it work.

Git is a version control manager for your source code. When you are working on some project, you will have multiple branches, lots of versions, some co-workers that will modify the source code, and you will need to handle it somehow.

The easiest way to describe why we need version control is to imagine that you work on a project with your friend at the same time. Both of you were editing the same file, on different computers. How are you going to merge changes later into one file?

Another example is an experimental feature that you are going to add to your project, that you want to ship only to 20% of your customers. Making duplicate folders for each version won't work well. Especially if both branches will be maintained separately, and later you are going to merge them into one project again.

Git helps you to do all of it. Git is a console tool. However, you can find lots of graphic interfaces for it. For example Github Desktop

The terminal is enough in 90% for git - there are just 3-5 commands user needs to know. Graphic Interface can be useful when you want to see changes done to the code; browse commits history, etc.

To install git with Homebrew, just run next commands:

brew update
brew install git

Next, you may want to set up an account on some source code hosting service like Github or Bitbucket. You may need it in the future to upload your code, or to collaborate with your colleagues. Account setup is very well explained on their websites: Github or Bitbucket

Ok, so Git is installed, let's try to learn how to use it now with the terminal. Let's say we have three tasks:

Let's setup this small project:

Obviously, these are not all git commands that you will use, but they are most important ones. Later you will see that merging branches can result in conflicts (when the same line in the same file has been changed in both branches). You will learn how to resolve those conflicts, will figure out how to switch between commits ( very easy actually, just use git checkout XXX command, and replace XXX with commit hash, that you see in git log output), and much more.

You can try to experiment with git a little bit more: try to clone existing repositories from Github, try to make some merge conflict on purpose, etc.

And whenever you feel ready, let's move on to the next chapter.

Book Index | Next