Introduction to Version Control with Git and GitHub

Hi, I'm Bolaji Ayodeji

Digital Strategist @Philanthrolab

Technical Writer & Chapter Lead @OSCAFRICA


- Front-end Developer

- Open Source Advocate

Learning Objectives


  • What is Version Control
  • CVCS vs DVCS
  • What is Git
  • Version Control with Git (Practical)
  • What is GitHub
  • Setting up GitHub (Practical)
  • Git and GitHub are not the same
  • What next?

What is Version Control?

Version Control is:


the process of managing changes to source code or set of files over time.

Version control software keeps track of every modification to the code in a special kind of database.

If a mistake is made, developers can restore and compare earlier versions of the code to help fix the mistake while minimizing disruption to all team members or contributors.

CentralIzed VCS

Distributed VCS

Type of VCS

Benefits of Version Control

  • Backups

  • Preserves efficiency and agility

  • Source Code Management

  • Traceability

  • Branching and Merging

  • Reverting Changes

  • Collaboration

Version control software is an essential part of the every-day of the modern day software developer practices.

Once accustomed to the powerful benefits of version control systems, many developers wouldn't consider working without it even for non-software projects.

What is Git?

By far, Git is the most widely used modern version control system in the world today is. Git is a distributed and actively maintained open source project originally developed in 2005 by Linus Torvalds, the famous creator of the Linux operating system kernel.

Unlike older centralized version control systems such as SVN and CVS, Git is distributed: every developer has the full history of their code repository locally. Git also works well on a wide range of operating systems and IDEs (Integrated Development Environments).

Git is a Free and Open Source Distributed Version Control System

Version control with Git

git init // creates a new git repository
// create a new file (, do something new!

git add or git add * or git add --all
// Proposes this new change and adds it to the index

git status
// check what has been going on in git, see whats staged or not.

git commit -m "commit description"
// tell us what you did and add to HEAD

git push origin master
// push HEAD to the remote repository

git log
// see the repository history

git pull
// grabs the latest directory with updates from the remote repository

git clone <url>
// clone a remote repository to local


git checkout -b <branch name>
// creates a new branch named <branch name> and switches to it

git checkout master
// switch back to the master branch

git branch -d <branch name>
// deletes the branch named <branch name>

git push origin <branch name>
// push your branch to remote repository

git merge <branch name>
// merge <branch name> into master

What is GitHub?


GitHub is a web-based hosting service for version control using Git. It is mostly used for computer code. It offers all of the distributed version control and source code management functionality of Git as well as adding its own features.

GitHub Features

  • Repository
  • Commits
  • Tags
  • Pull Request
  • Branch
  • Code editor
  • Issues
  • Releases
  • Projects
  • Organizations/ Teams


Working with Git and GitHub


Create and setup your GitHub account

git config --global "Your username here"

git config --global "your email here"

git config --global color.ui true

git config --global core.editor emacs

git config --list

Differences between Git and GitHub


Git is a revision control system, a tool to manage your source code history.

GitHub is a hosting service for Git repositories.


So they are not the same thing: Git is the tool, GitHub is the service for projects that use Git.

What next?

Useful resources to learn Git and GitHub

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Copy of Introduction to Version Control with Git and GitHub

By Lina

Copy of Introduction to Version Control with Git and GitHub

Introduction to version control, version control systems, Git and GitHub plus practical usage, code, tips, and resources.

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