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A beginner’s guide to GitHub

Last updated:
3rd Dec, 2022
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A beginner’s guide to GitHub

As a new coder, you must learn about Git, which possesses dynamic features to assist your work. Git works as a distributed version control software enabling diverse entities to work concurrently and saving the changes history of all the work. The exceptional feature guarantees zero code quarrels, enabling developers to roll back files or full projects to a prior code model.

As the needs of such projects change frequently, a version control system enables developers to revert to an earlier version of their code. 

Git’s branch structure enables developers to work on a job independently. If you’re a developer, think of Git as a little software application that manages your code base. 

Repositories for Git 

Repository storage is an imperative feature you must know if you want to start utilizing Git. A repository is a venture that contains several files, such as code-based files. 

There are two ways of storing Git repositories: Store it online, on cloud storage, or install the server in your system to store files.

The most popular Git repository services are GitHub by Microsoft, GitLab, and BitBucket.

Need of Git

Git simplifies contributing to open source projects

GitHub is used to handle almost every open-source project. If your product is open-source, you can use GitHub for free. It contains a web interface and native app that simplify incorporating detailed documentation and receiving comments on your project. 

You can begin by creating a clone of a project and modifying it, then simply submit a pull request through GitHub’s web interface. This pull request will allow you to inform others about the amendments done in the project and is ready for review. 

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Quality Data 

Git makes it easy to obtain quality documentation by utilizing GitHub. Its support section and tutorials provide information on almost any Git-related topic one can think of. 

Connects to various platforms 

GitHub can connect to popular systems like Amazon and Google Cloud and services like Code Climate to track your input and identify terminology in over 200 computer languages.

Enables updates in your code between versions

It’s difficult to maintain track of modifications when a group working on the same project modifies the files. GitHub ensures uniformity by tracking all changes to the repository files. 

It also enables you to maintain the history of your previous files, similar to what we do in Microsoft, etc., so the past versions are not lost with every amendment. GitHub makes it simple to return to the prior version and add your contributions.

Exhibit your work 

Do you want to gain the attention of your recruiters as a developer? Then GitHub has your back with its utmost reliability.

Most firms now check GitHub profiles while looking for new project hires. If your profile is public, your chances of getting hired increase, even if you did not attend a prestigious institution or college.

How to use GitHub?

Install GitHub on your device 

First, install the Git tools on the computer system. To interact with GitHub, we’ll use the Command Line Interface. 

  • Begin with updating your package.
  • Install Git and Git-Hun with apt-get.
  • Lastly, check if you have installed Git correctly. 
  • When you’re ready to save your work, execute the following commands with your data to set a default username and email.

Establishing a Local Git Repository 

Set up a local Git repository as you start a new project from scratch. Here, your can save files and change checkpoints for versioning control. Also, don’t forget to make a folder on your desktop before beginning your local repository. 

Launch your port or command prompt by copying the commands listed below. 

cd~/Desktop/git-demo-example git init 

Voilà! You have created your first Git repository, ready to store files. 

Add some files to the folder so you’ll have something to work with. Make a file called in your git-demo-example folder and paste the following code. 

If you don’t have Python installed, you can still follow along by creating a .txt file instead of a .py file.

floral=[rose, lily, hibiscus, daisy, petunia, sunflower]

Exit and save the document. In the same folder, create another file called and paste the following code into it.


Now you have two files in your Git folder. 

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Sharing files to the Local Git Repository

Once you are done with creating a local Git Repository and creating new files, the next step is to add those files into the repository’s folder to track the amendments made in the file. The process is known as committing.

Commuting takes two steps to commit the code to the local repository. You must begin by placing the file in a staging area before committing. This extra step in the process allows you to control which files you want to commit to the local repository and protects you from committing a wrong file. 

For example: if you wish to commit a single file to the staging area, use— git add 

But if you wish to add more than one file, th use— git add

Examine All Commitments 

You can use git log to see a list of the commits made so far. The commit log contains the name of the creator of the commit, the date when it was committed, and the commit message for each commit. 

Ignoring Commit Files

If there are files that you don’t wish to commit, you can use the .gitignore file to help with that. The .gitignore file instructs Git on which files or variations it should ignore, so they are not showcased and committed by mistake.

Git Branches 

Another brilliant feature provided in GitHub is with Git, you can create separate branches to keep your work distinct from the master branch, which is extremely useful for running code tests. If you type git status in your port, you’ll see that you’re on the master branch.

Make a Remote Repository to Collaborate With Your Group

Once you have saved all of the changes in your local repository, set up a remote repository and sync it with your local one to simplify access or share it with people- this will allow you to move changes to a prime hub where others can access your code and make the required amendments.

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Pavan Vadapalli

Blog Author
Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1 What is the difference between Git and GitHub?

In simple terms, Git is a software application that allows you to manage and track the history of your source code. GitHub is a cloud-enabled service allowing you to manage Git repositories. For your open-source Git projects, GitHub can help you manage them better.

2 Is there a limit to the amount of space available on GitHub?

The publicized size limit of each such file as of 2020 on GitHub is 2 GB.

3 Is it simple to learn GitHub?

Git streamlines the process of working with others and makes project collaboration simple. Team members can work on files and easily merge their changes into the project's master branch. Git and GitHub knowledge has gradually progressed from desirable to required in various job roles.

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