Sunday, 29 March 2015

Slides: Workshop on Source control, git merge walkthroughs

I gave a workshop recently on Git and Source control. Slides are here:

The slides aren't great, it's mostly a workshop - you have to make sure everyone does the typing.

If you don't use source control, it's almost certainly the biggest gain in software productivity you can get for the amount of effort it takes to learn.

It seems there are a huge amount of Git tutorials, but I wanted to add a bit of a source control intro, and walk people through probably the hardest thing they will do (merge git branches). I mentioned that this is probably the hardest thing, 99% of life is easy.

When teaching Git, one of the questions is whether you should teach "the minimum to get started" or spend a bit of time explaining the basics, so that people get a correct mental model.

For newbies, I think you need to know:
  • Motivation for using source control
  • Hashes
  • File diffs
  • Directed Acyclic Graphs
So I run people through use of md5sum, diff etc.

My friend Paul helped people out, and also played the part of Git on a whiteboard - showing how the commit graph is updated.

I think Git is a a pretty great solution, and once you understand it's a filesystem database with a directed acyclic graphs of changesets to text files, you will treat it like that, and everything will be fine.

I ran out of time before I could do a group pull/push from bitbucket on the internet, and only briefly showed smartgit. I finished off with a Gource visualisation of changes to our work repo. Here's a youtube video of Gource.

We will see in time if it worked, and whether they start using source control.

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