Introduction to Git (v1)


Before moving on to this section, you must feel comfortable working with the terminal, be able to execute basic commands and manipulate files and folders using command line utilities like cd, ls, touch, rm, etc.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to do the following:

  • Explain what Git and GitHub are and the differences between the two.
  • Describe the differences between Git and a text editor in terms of what they save and their record keeping.
  • Describe why Git is useful for an individual developer and a team of developers.
  • Explain what Version Control is


Watch the next videos to learn about the history of Git and GitHub.

Duration: 5 minutes

What’s the Difference between Git and GitHub?

Duration: 2 minutes

Duration: 4 minutes

A Detailed Overview

Git is like a really epic save button for your files and directories. Officially, Git is a version control system.

A save in a text editor records all of the words in a document as a single file. You are only ever given one record of the file, such as essay.doc, unless you make duplicate copies (which is difficult to remember to do and keep track of):

essay-draft1.doc, essay-draft2.doc, essay-final.doc

However, a save in Git records differences in the files and folders AND keeps a historical record of each save. This feature is a game changer. As an individual developer, Git enables you to review how your project grows and to easily look at or restore file states from the past. Once connected to a network, Git allows you to push your project to GitHub for sharing and collaborating with other developers.

While Git works on your local machine, GitHub is a remote storage facility on the web for all your coding projects. This means that by learning Git, you will get to showcase your portfolio on GitHub! This is really important because almost all software development companies consider using Git to be an essential skill for modern web developers. Having a GitHub portfolio will provide proof to future potential employers as to what you are capable of.

In this lesson, we will briefly explore the history of Git, what it is, and what it’s useful for.

In the next lesson, we will go over the basic workflow for using Git, which should enhance your understanding and demonstrate why Git is so useful.

Finally, you will set up a project with Git that will serve as a template for your future projects.

For now, let’s learn what Git is and why it’s so powerful!


Before moving on, we should familiarize ourselves with the basic terms of Version Control and Git.

Download this Cheat Sheet (PDF), take a first look at each term and make sure to keep this file open while you go through the Git lessons, as you will need to come back to this terms sheet quite often.

Material based on Erik Trautman | The Odin Project

UPDATED: 02.04.2021