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Intro to using Git and GitHub for Development

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This article will walk through making your first coding changes to a GitHub project.
  • As a prerequisite you must be invited to the Matrix Tools, LLC organization on
  • You will sign up to GitHub using your email address.
  • After you create a user, you must ask for permissions to be a Collaborator to the GitHub project.
Git is an incredibly popular technology for keeping up with code projects or "repositories" and is a great skill to have on a resume. GitHub is the public website for Git repositories, that was recently acquired by Microsoft.
There are many ways to access a Git repository, I prefer using the command line, I even have a custom Mario Shell command line, but for brand new developers I would recommend downloading Git (from here) as well as downloading Visual Studio Code. Visual Studio Code is a lightweight but powerful source code editor which runs on your desktop, and it also automatically integrates with Git.

After downloading Visual Studio Code, run the following commands (with your user information) from your command prompt to authenticate Git on your machine:
git config --global "John-Doe" git config --global

Then, copy this GitHub web URL that points to the Matrix Tools, LLC "new-developers" project.

Now open up Visual Studio Code and press Shift + Ctrl + P to open up the Command Palette.
Here you will run the Git Clone command.
Visual Studio Code
And then paste in the GitHub web URL.
Git Clone
It will then ask you to select a folder on your computer to add the code files, I usually use something like C:\Dev
It should then prompt you to open the project: Repo Prompt

Now we have everything we need to be able to code and commit changes to the project!!

Use the Visual Studio Code Explorer to go to the /website/index.html file to find your first small assignment.
HTML Assignment

Notice after you make changes to the index.html file, you should see a (1) over the Source Control icon, on the far left side of Visual Studio Code.

This indicates that you have modified 1 file. Now click on the Source Control icon.

Then you will click on the "Commit" checkmark button in order to update the file to GitHub.

It will then ask you to commit the files and add a commit message.

After that, there is just one more button to press to do the "Push" to GitHub.

On the very bottom left of Visual Studio Code you should now see a 1 next to an Up Arrow.

It will then prompt you for your GitHub username and password, and then you're done!

  • If you see the error: "Permission to MatrixToolsLLC/new-developers.git denied" you will need to remind me to add you as a Collaborator to the GitHub project.

You should now verify / test that everything worked as expected.

  1. The "1 next to an Up Arrow" should now have disappeared from the the bottom left of Visual Studio Code.
  2. Go to the index.html file on GitHub here, and verify your changes were pushed.
  3. Open index.html in a browser on your machine and verify it looks correct.
    • On my machine this is: C:\Dev\new-developers\website\index.html
  4. Now you're ready to roll and start contributing to coding projects!!
  5. Going forward you should be able to make changes, commit, and push all from within Visual Studio Code
  6. Let me know that you're completed or if you have any issues!

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