You Git!

We have started a TakeLab Skills Program — our attempt at making our students more competitive in the global market, teaching them useful skills that would help them in their future careers. The first in a row was an interactive workshop dealing with the software versioning tool Git.

We always though that there was not enough effort at the universities to teach students skills and knowledge that would actually give them the edge over other candidates in the competitive market. We have been pondering about how to accomplish this, as we cannot possibly cover a lot of ground in the fields not related to our research.

We have soon come to realize that we had met a lot of great and versatile students throughout our courses, and already seized some of them for our ranks. By asking them to present their knowledge to other students (under our guidance), not only that they would do the job in a more “relaxed” way, but they would also brush up on their teaching skills, something that would definitely come in handy in the future. So, we basically decided on teaching our students invaluable skills, and on teaching some other (former) students how to teach those students. Pretty deep, huh? That was the moment when TakeLab Skills program came to life.

The first workshop of this program was dedicated to the software versioning tool Git, which often scares people with its notorious complexity and counter-intuitiveness. Is it really that bad? We asked our friend and former student, Teon Banek, to help us with breaking this myth. Teon is a great programmer and experienced Linux user, currently working with Python (and silently hoping to replace it with Lisp someday). Taking into account he is also crazy about lasagnas, we knew we found the right man for our job.

We held this workshop on April 7, bringing around 20 interested students in total (excluding us, the Git newbies 🙂 ). The course covered a lot of Git commands and use-cases, ranging from adding files to index, commiting changes, and pushing them to the remote repository, to the more complex stuff like branching, merging, rebasing, and rewriting commit history.

Even though the pace was a bit too fast, as we had troubles tailoring the workshop to everybody’s needs (for both beginners and intermediate users), general feedback was very positive. Workshop slides can be found here. Stay tuned for the future workshops in the series!