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Learn Enough Git to Be Dangerous

Feb 4, 2016 • posted by Michael Hartl

There may be no more powerful (but mysterious) modern software tool than Git, a version control system that helps developers track a project’s changes while dramatically improving collaboration. Learning Git is important enough that it’s integrated into the Ruby on Rails Tutorial, but many people have asked me for a standalone introduction to this important technology.

I’m pleased to announce that it’s here: Learn Enough Git to Be Dangerous. Unlike the integrated material in the Rails Tutorial, the material in Learn Enough Git to Be Dangerous is completely self-contained, and its only prerequisites are familiarity with the Unix command line and a text editor.

Learn Enough Git to Be Dangerous focuses on Git essentials without getting bogged down in lots of heavy theory. It includes many concrete examples of how to use the most important Git commands, including:

  • git status
  • git add
  • git commit
  • git diff
  • git push
  • git pull
  • git checkout
  • git branch
  • git merge

Learn Enough Git to Be Dangerous also includes an extended example of collaboration with Git, showing you how to use Git in the context of two developers working together on the same project.

Finally, Learn Enough Git to Be Dangerous includes an amazing surprise bonus at the end of the tutorial that you won’t want to miss.

As usual, there’s a free online version of Learn Enough Git to Be Dangerous, so you can check it out and see in detail what it covers. The ebook versions (EPUB, MOBI, PDF) are available for purchase for $9.

I appreciate any feedback or suggestions you may have, whether you’re a relative beginner or an expert. I especially appreciate bug and typo reports (no matter how small). With the streamlined publication process made possible by the Softcover toolchain, I can usually deploy corrections within minutes of receiving them. Please email any feedback to [email protected]

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Michael Hartl

I’m Michael Hartl—author, educator, and entrepreneur. I’m probably best known as the creator of the Ruby on Rails Tutorial, a book and screencast series that together constitute one of the leading introductions to web development. Once called his “favorite book” by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, the Ruby on Rails Tutorial currently has over 150 5-star reviews at Amazon. I’m also (in)famous for creating Tau Day and The Tau Manifesto, which have inspired an international movement dedicated to the proposition that “pi is wrong.” (For example, as a result of The Tau Manifesto, MIT releases their admissions decisions each year at “Tau Time” (6:28 p.m.), and typing tau/2 at Google yields 3.14159…) Finally, I’m a founder of Softcover, a publishing system and sales platform for technical authors, which among other things powers both The Tau Manifesto and the Ruby on Rails Tutorial.

I’m a graduate of Harvard College and have a Ph.D. in Physics from Caltech, where I studied black hole dynamics and was an award-winning instructor in theoretical and computational physics. I’m also an alumnus of Y Combinator, the entrepreneur program that has produced companies such as Dropbox and Airbnb. (Alas, my own Y Combinator startup was neither Dropbox nor Airbnb.)