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How to Use Git and GitHub

via Udacity

This course may be unavailable.


Effective use of version control is an important and useful skill for any developer working on long-lived (or even medium-lived) projects, especially if more than one developer is involved. This course, built with input from GitHub, will introduce the basics of using version control by focusing on a particular version control system called Git and a collaboration platform called GitHub.

This course is part of the Front End and Full Stack Nanodegrees..

Why Take This Course?

Git is used by many tech companies, and a public GitHub profile serves as a great portfolio for any developer. But more than that, you’ll establish an efficient programming workflow that allows you to:

  • Keep track of multiple versions of a file
  • Track bugs by reverting to previous working versions of a file
  • Seamlessly collaborate with other developers on a project

The use of tools like Git and GitHub is essential for collaborating with other developers in most professional environments.


Lesson 1: Navigating a Commit History

In this lesson, you’ll learn about a few different types of version control systems and discover what makes Git a great version control system for programmers. You’ll also get practice using Git to view the history of an existing project. You’ll learn to see all the versions that have been saved, checkout a previous version, and compare two different versions.

Lesson 2: Creating and Modifying a Repository

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to create a repository and save versions of your project. You’ll learn about the staging area, committing your code, branching, and merging, and how you can use these to make you more efficient and effective.

Lesson 3: Using GitHub to Collaborate

In this lesson, you’ll get practice using GitHub or other remote repositories to share your changes with others and collaborate on multi-developer projects. You’ll learn how to make and review a pull request on GitHub. Finally, you’ll get practice by collaborating with other Udacity students to write a create-your-own-adventure story.

Project: Contribute to a Live Project

Students will publish a repository containing their reflections from the course and submit a pull request to a collaborative Create-Your-Own-Adventure story.

Taught by

Sarah Spikes and Caroline Buckey


4.5 rating, based on 50 Class Central reviews

Start your review of How to Use Git and GitHub

  • How to use Git andGitHub is a 3-week introductory course offered by Udacity covering the basics of the Git version control system. As a short course with only 3 lessons, it focuses on the giving students a solid grounding in the basics of Git and do…
  • I started Udacity's CS253* recently & about 1/3 of the way in realised: 'I need some way to keep all these different files synchronised or my tiny brain will be fried by the end of this'. So I decided to bite the bullet and finally 'learn Git'. I'd…
  • Adequate introduction to git usage. Following the examples will teach you the most needed basic commands and workflow. Can be finished in one sitting of 4-5 hours.
  • Perfect for a beginner like me. I am not a coder and don't work in a team so there were sections where I just watched the videos.
    I liked the step-by-step approach so I could actually get my Windows and Linux computers all set up for git.
    I liked the quizzes and hands-on exercises that cemented the learning.

    If you haven't done much from the console, you may struggle a little. I cut my teeth on MSDOS so it wasn't an issue for me, and I actually enjoyed this aspect of the course.
  • Git and Github is a must for anyone who plans to be in the software industry. This course is designed for total beginners without having any programming experience.
    Easy to follow, well designed. After a few weeks from starting, you will be confident navigating with command-prompt, and will have two repos in Github even though at the beginning you never used cmd and didn't have a clue what is Github at all!
  • Profile image for Martin Laskowski
    Martin Laskowski
    I took this course to get a fuller grasp on Git and GitHub having just begun using these in my Udacity Android Developer Nanodegree (also awesome). Course creators Caroline Buckey and Sarah Spikes convey with super clarity and detailed granularity…
  • DK
    As someone with a background in programming, computer science, etc., I found the pace of the course to be painfully slow. All I needed was a walkthrough on how to set up and use Git and GitHub. The course includes that, mixed in with tons of baby st…
  • This course was a short, sweet intro to Git. I finished it in 1.5 weeks and spent approximately 18 hours total. I would have spent less time if I could have got the workspace set up correctly (see below). Sarah and Caroline are excellent teachers,…
  • The course is a great introduction to these very interesting technologies. The teachers are very thorough on the basic commands and usage of Git and set plenty of examples of real life dimension with which the student is able to understand and get used to the system of Git.
    The class is well organized and spread out into 3 sections of increasing importance and difficulty as one continues on the progress you have done in previous ones.
    Overall, after finishing this course you will have a full understanding of what a Version Control System (VCS) like Git is and how Github comes to complement and add features to it. It is a MUST if you are in IT or computer-related sciences, in my opinion!
  • The course on how to use Git and GitHub is an excellent resource for beginners and advanced users alike. The course covers everything from setting up a Git repository to managing complex workflows using branches. The hands-on exercises and real-world examples provide a comprehensive understanding of Git and GitHub, making it a must-have for anyone looking to improve their software development skills. Overall, I highly recommend this course to anyone looking to improve their Git and GitHub proficiency.
  • QZ
    This course would be very helpful for beginners who are frustrated trying to understand how to use Git. The explanations are very clear and the material is interactive. However more advanced programmers will be just fine following shorter web tutorials on the topic and searching up problems on Google as they arise. If the course's pace feels too slow for you, skim through the relevant bits (it's a self-paced course so you can always come back later) or drop the course altogether in favour of other less comprehensive sources.
  • Saurabh Khanduja
    It's easy and must for anyone programming either in front-end, backend or space-end. It introduces stuff slowly since git is a large framework, and thus doesn't overwhelms you. Use of game-based exercises makes it very interactive. Finally, it teaches the rule of one commit per logic. To all of you who are about to take this course, ingrain this habit, it will make your life and your colleague's life simple when the servers are burning down because some big changes went in.
  • Anonymous
    Instructors spoke way too fast, and many parts of the course were presented in an unclear manner. A lot of the concepts were not explained clearly. You could do a lot better elsewhere.
  • A short course focusing on the basics of Git. The course can be completed quite quickly with just a few hours investment each day. Pacing can be slow at times with a few too many baby steps. Excellent for beginners but those with experience coding and/or using a command line interface may be better off looking for a quick 'how-to' primer guide elsewhere.
  • Profile image for Megan O'Neil
    Megan O'Neil
    I thought this was a great course. I had tried to take a course on Git and GitHub from coursera and left it pretty confused, I didn't really know how to use it again after and wasn't really sure what I'd use it for. I thought this course was well-organized, clear, and fun.
  • Very good if you are starting with Git. It required about 12 hours to complete. The instructors and quizzes are really interactive.
  • A solid intro to using git and GitHub, this course has empowered me with great technology tools to work with. It's been about a year since I took this course, and I'm finding the application of the things I learnt here being used on a daily basis.

    Almost every project I undertake now, I setup a git repository to save all its stable versions, to branch out while trying new features, to pushing my project repos on GitHub, and to collaborate with other developers out there, without breaking a sweat.

    I highly recommend all beginners on taking this course. Doesn't matter what kind of a developer you are - web, android, AI, or otherwise - you will find this tool handy everywhere.
  • Before I stared my current job, I did not "code" in a team. I was not aware of the method of "version control". However, once was part of a team, version control is essential. The course gave the basic understanding of what version control is and methods to achieve this. Then we move to Git and GitHub. The instructors were really nice and enthusiastic. Their explanation and examples were understandable (props for their reflections questions!).

    I recommend the course to everyone who is at begginer level and needs to get into how to use verion control.
  • Anonymous
    I followed the course outline. Unfortunately i got stuck at the horizontal n vertical splitting of the bash terminal in my '09 Macbk pro. Way too soon in the course. I understand that the instructor strongly suggested to google answers. But I have done that n searched other forums like; Stackoverflow, Utube, FCC, and I tried "cntrl+a S" and other shortcuts. No success. If its my laptop..then l feel course should be aware of that possibility n provide alternate solutions.
  • Anonymous
    You must know git to program. Came across only one problem so far there was a period after a URL that really messed things up. There is a video of google engineer talking of git early in course and when you do the date math there ypu have it very early odoption.

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