Getting to grips with Git
26th June 2019
I bit the bullet and began playing around with Git back in early 2012, around the time when front-end development started getting a bit more complicated than a text editor and an FTP client.
At that time, I wasn’t using the command line for much, if anything; even things like compiling SCSS to CSS was done in a GUI like CodeKit. So naturally I researched the best Mac app (the most excellent Tower) and stared there.
I started by using Git as a way of backing up and syncing projects. I would commit everything I’d been working on from my office’s iMac at the end of the day, push to Bitbucket (the only unlimited-repos-for-free option at that time), then pull everything down to my MacBook. Far from the right way to do things, but a start.
In the months and years that followed I would work on improving my processes or experiment with an uncharted feature: branching, tagging, stashing, resolving merge conflicts, rebasing, cherry picking, pull/merge requests, GitFlow, and so on.
Another turning point
Over the years I’ve become very comfortable with Git. But every developer I’ve ever worked with uses it on the command line and gets by just fine. And it’s a bit embarrassing when I’m helping a more junior dev on their machine and I don’t know how to do the basics without my GUI.
Well, a few weeks ago I received an email:
Thank you for using Tower as your Git client. We wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that your Tower Basic account will automatically renew on 2019-06-26 for £58.80
Tower moved to a yearly subscription model last year and I paid at the discounted rate, telling myself that I’d learn how to use Git on the command line before the license expired and I had to pay full price next year (and every year thereafter).
Guess what? It’s ‘next year’ already and I didn’t learn Git’s commands…
Command line or bust
So I’ve taken a big step. I’ve cancelled today’s automatic renewal of Tower and all I’ve got now is my Terminal window.
I’m perfectly happy dancing around on the the command line and, as I mentioned, I’m more than familiar with the concepts and workings of Git, but without backing myself into a corner I’ll turn to my lovely, familiar Tower every time.
£60 a year isn’t a huge outlay and, in Tower, I can do everything my peers are doing with Git without moving out of my comfort zone. But life’s all about pushing yourself and this is yet another opportunity to grow as a developer.
Now that it’s gone I have no option but to get some muscle memory behind all of those commands I’ve been tentatively trialling over the last year.
Command line Git, here I come!
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