Sorry, this is a noob question. What is git and github? What is it used for, and what might a high school student like myself use it for?

  • 11
    Git is a version control system that let's your keep track of changes to code.

    Each time you make a change, it figures out what changed and stores it in what is called a delta.

    You can then sync it to a online platform like GitHub so you don't loose your hard work.
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    To expand on what @nblackburn said, Github is just one of many. Most major projects have their own version of git (KDE/Krita or Ardour for example), Github is just one of the most popular ones.
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    Very VERY simplified explanation:

    It's like Ctrl+S and Ctrl+Z in a word document. You can save your code as you go by committing it with git, and if you break something or screw it up you can undo back to the last time it was working.

    It does about a million other things but for a high school student who will probably not be collaborating with others (yet?) that is the simple explanation.
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    @ryanmhoffman very nice explanation. I will use that (with credit to you) many times in the future.
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    Git is version control system that help you keep track on your project if you made any changes in project it save it as complete new version and you can get back any previous version you want
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    @ryanmhoffman Easiest explanation
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    The comments so far have done an amazing job of the tldr and all you need to know really, but hey I have time so here is the other half.

    Git is also a very powerful collaboration and intergration tool. First up collaboration. Okay one of the largest issues with software development is how do we as pro's effectivly get 2-2^e people working on the same file or set of files l. Well git solves this through a concept alled merging i have a file that has changes I wish to add thoes changes to the central "project" (usually called master) i use git to take the changes and place them where they need to be in a way that can be reverted if my changes are terrible or break somthing also if they conflict with sombody elses changes. We can then manually solve that issue for the best out come of a project.

    Now intergration cause git is a standard way of accessing code we can write other code to build or put code into productiom automatically as needed.
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    I'd like to add my cents. I wish I had known about Github in my college days. Because what we used to do was every individual in our project had some 'part' of code and then we merge it with everyone's pen drive > copy paste > assemble project > test it. Not to mention that it was cumbersome and very hectic.

    Also there were many surprises on many occasions, eg. - 2 people had done solution for same problem but not in exact way. Or someone has sent other person couple of code files over email and loat track of that.

    We didn't know about any version control system. Git is one of them and Github provodes hosting for free. Github is a big big relief.
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