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How To Use & Understand Git for Beginners

For non-programmers or other knowledge workers like designers or copy writers – here are some resources for understanding what the hell “git” is and how and why we should use it.

I’m still learning… but these resources really helped me reach a new understanding and eased some of my intimidation… (smile)

At PM we use Bitbucket https://bitbucket.org/ instead of GitHub as our collaboration network/tool  (that runs on git version control software). The following article is about Git basics and talks about GitHub but you can think of BitBucket the same as GitHub when reading it – just to get the high level idea.

GitHub For Beginners: Don’t Get Scared, Get Started


“As embarrassing as it is to admit, this tutorial came into being because all of the “GitHub for Beginners” articles I read were way over my head. That’s probably because I don’t have a strong programming background, like most GitHub users. I couldn’t identify with the way most tutorials suggest using GitHub, as a showcase for my programming work.” – Lauren Orsini, September 2013

Git Basics Video Series

A meaningful discussion of the value of Git begins with a solid understanding of what version control is and what it does for software developers, document authors, and designers.- -Matthew Git Hub


BitBucket for Git

Here are some more resources from Ben Turner:

Just passing along something that I found useful as I was first being introduced to GIT.


has a few screencasts and such on using git. While many of those resources require you to enroll, there is a free intro ‘course’ that I found gave a quick overview:

It’s pretty basic, walks you through using the terminal to interact with Git, and will at least get you basic familiarity.

For more in depth info, there is a free online version of Pro Git that answers a lot of questions:

Happy Git-ing


FYI notes from Scott:

Thank you Ben. Good resources.


Just as an FYI for the team, LD & I just upgraded the PM BitBucket account to allow for 10 users so please use BitBucket rather than GitHub for projects going forward. Our GitHub account doesn’t have a lot on it right now so we will be phasing it out – no advantage to using both and it just adds more needless complexity if we do.


In terms of GUI usage there is a free graphical Git client for BitBucket called SourceTree which is super easy to use. See http://www.sourcetreeapp.com. I personally prefer to use the command-line but that app seems nice for most of the basic tasks in GIT.
If you need help from me (or Ben) checking new or existing codebases into BitBucket don’t hesitate to IM us. All repositories should be created as PRIVATE.