code development programming

Up to speed with Git with recommended tools and books

On my current project, I introduced Git to a team used to Subversion (apart from the odd few), so I’ve had to research a few good resources for the team. I wanted to share these with you, for those of you new to Git, or wanted to get your team up to speed.

The best resource I found to start with was Version Control by Example by Eric Sink, which walks through a typical workflow in Subversion, Git and a couple of other version control systems. It’s great for picking up the basics for those coming from another version control system, or none.

I recently read Pro Git, by Scott Chacon and Ben Straub, which has given me a much better understanding of what’s going on under the hood, and has been a great resource to help me understand some of the problems the team have had with Git, and the patterns and principles required to fix them. It’s also got some great information for administering servers and repos, including setting up hooks, transport protocols, and various other details. I’m not sure I’d recommend it to a novice, but if you really want to get under the skin of the key-value datastore and directory structure underneath Git and want to know how and why it does what it does, it’s a great resource.

Pro Git recommends HTTPS as the transport layer, and that’s probably the easiest to set up for corporate networks with tough firewalls, but I have had problems with Github’s 2-factor authentication, and I tend to switch between a number of tools on the desktop, primarily SourceTree and Visual Studio 2013’s Git Flow Extension by Jakob Ehn for the Git Flow process, TortoiseGit for the merge UI, and the command line for everything else, which means the credential cache is often out of date, whereas SSH keys are much easier to keep in sync via Pageant, as installed by Tortoise. If you want to set up SSH keys yourself in Windows, one of my colleagues wrote this post.

For the members of the team less comfortable with curly braces, I’ve pointed them towards GitHub Desktop for the easiest way to stay in sync.

What are your favourite Git tools and reading?

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