What is GIT and where is it used?

by Kate Norton
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If you have just started delving into the topic of programming, you might have already come across such a service as GIT. Actually, if you are seriously planning to start a coding career you definitely should get acquainted with this VCS (version control system). GIT is a distributed open-source VCS.

GIT is an extremely useful tool for tracking all the changes that can occur during the process of working on your project. GIT is widespread in the working environment since it provides the users with data integrity, safety, high performance and flexibility. Learn more about the way GIT is working and where it is used in the current article.

The reasons to use GIT

Undeniably, you might be working on your new programme alone and, thus, you are certainly able to keep a track of everything you are doing with your code. Still, the majority of programmers are working in teams and, at that point, tracking the changes in the development process becomes more complicated. Actually, without any systematic way of dealing with your project, you and your teammates can get into a real chaos trying to handle the project.

In order to make this task easier, version control systems were developed and GIT is one of the most successful VCSs you can come across today. With the help of GIT, you will be able to check the following information about your code:

  • all the times it has been renamed;
  • all the times it has been split and rearranged.

As you can guess, these possibilities make it really easier for programmers to share their code with each other.

How can one use GIT?

First of all, you should be aware of the fact that GIT itself is not a programming language. We can call it a logical model which is actually using the Windows and Linux command-line interfaces.

There are two repositories available to the users of GIT. The first one is the GIT’s local repository. This one is used for keeping up to 90% of work which includes the log/history status viewing, committing and staging.

The second repository is a remote centralised server used for pushing or sending and pulling or recieving all the changes of the version crucial for the current project.

In order to start using GIT, you will have to create a so-called branch. This is a clean directory or a workplace. There, you will be able to make all the crucial changes and commit. Note that this same process will be repeated until your code will be ready for being displayed to other teammates.

When you are sure you want to share this code with others, you will be able to make a connection with another repository. This connection will allow you to push or pull the changes made in the project. The commit command is used for determining a version change. This one includes such information as the person modifying the code, the exact modifications in the code as well as the time when it took place.

What are the main components of GIT?

As we have already mentioned it above, one of the ways of using GIT is via a command line which is actually the most common way.

The GIT’s workflow can have one of the three states. The first one is called Committed and it means that the file that was located in the staging area was taken and stored in the GIT permanently. The workflow can also be Modified. This state means that the files that had previously been in the working directory were taken out of there by the system.

Finally, GIT’s workflow can also be staged. This means that snapshots were added to the staging area.

Thus, you are now aware of the fact GIT has a staging area. You can imagine a staging area as an index part which is used for the next commit directing. There are also two more major parts of the projects developed with GIT. The second one is the GIT directory. The purpose of this part is the storage of the object database which is needed for cloning form one repository to another computer.

Finally, each GIT project also has a working tree which is a term used for naming a special disk for placing the modifications of the files that were stored in the database and then pulled out of it.

For implementation, GIT performs six basic steps which are branching, commit adding, opening of a request for pulling, code reviewing, merging and deployment.

Some of the major GIT characteristics

First of all, GIT is a free open-source system featured by multiple backups. You can work with GIT not only online but also without access to the Internet. Even commit operations can be performed in an offline mode.

Furthermore, GIT has an undo operation which is called the last commit. You can also use revert options if you want to get rid of unnecessary changes. In addition to it, the users of GIT can also use Restore delete commit which is especially useful for large projects.

Another great feature of GIT is advanced security protection which is used primarily against file modification. Thus, the history of the source files of your project remains authentic.

These are only some of the advantages of using GIT which actually has much more to offer to the developers of both small and large projects.

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