A couple of years ago, I was helping my now-81-year-old mom with her aging computer and setting up her printer. Understand that my mom is a brilliant woman who can do the most amazing things, but she didn’t grow up using computers, so they are pretty overwhelming for her. Reducing-her-to-tears kind of overwhelming. Head-in-her-hands kind of overwhelming.
Fast forward to the week before Christmas. Business was a little slow as it tends to be this time of year, so I’d determined to learn Git and versioning before the end of the year. Everyone says I have to learn Git and Github. And versioning. I have to learn them. I HAVE TO if I want to be a developer of any sort. That’s what my developer (“dev”) friends say. Making changes on a live site is called “cowboy coding,” and considered shameful and amateurish (although sometimes there’s no other option). I’m trying to be a pro. This is no hobby.
What is Git?
Git is a way to make a snapshot of a file in which you are working. Versioning is making a series of “snapshots” (copy) of the file as you are working on them, like doing a “save as” every few minutes as you work on the file. This way, if you need to start over with a previous working version of a file, you can access it and replace what isn’t working.
It’s more complicated than that, and involves getting different kinds of software to communicate with each other. Often, things don’t go smoothly.
On June 4, 2018, Microsoft bought GitHub for $7.5 billion, the best-known means of working with Git. I guess learning it is important. Many developers are up in arms over the purchase, but they’ve been looking for a CEO for 10 months now. I figure, hey, at least Google didn’t buy it. Or Apple (which I love, but they’ve had issues lately). And I just bought a 1-year subscription to Github in March, so I might as well cope. Github it is.
Fine, I’ll Learn Git
I Googled and read so many articles on Git, watching videos with poor sound quality (and I’m hearing-impaired). I even tried Codecademy and a couple of other things using my high-end text editor (software that helps you when you code, or program). Except it has really sucky documentation and no forum for community help. Lynda.com has a course I’m going to try out.
I hit a roadblock in setting up Git in my high-end code editor that was supposed to support it, so I emailed its developer. Their support is closed for the holidays. Fabulous. So much for learning this before the end of the year.
All of these articles and videos seem to require a passing knowledge of working with a command line interface. Even the tutorials for total beginners. I don’t have that knowledge. What level is before beginner?
This seems so familiar to me
Throughout that day or two of trying to learn Git and Github, I’d yell at my computer, trying the same thing over and over again. I had to stop and make a candy run (sugar being my drug of choice). It occurred to me that there was some saying about doing something over and over again, and insanity. I couldn’t disagree.
And I put my head in my hands, overwhelmed, trying not to cry. Because there’s no crying in coding!
I thought of my mom and wanted to hug her — I get it. I probably felt like she did.
Learning Git and Github is on the back burner, and I’m working through the book on command line interface (CLI). Maybe that extra knowledge will help. I’m not giving up. Maybe I’ll figure it all out by the end of 2018.
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