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Git for Teams by Emma Jane Hogbin Westby

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Foreword

It is difficult to overstate the importance of version control.

I believe that it is as important as the inventions of the chalkboard and of the book for multiplying the power of people to create together.

Over my career, I have watched the approach to version control systems in software development advance from resistance to ubiquity, and have watched the underlying technology make quantum jumps, each jump accelerating the value of the work we create together and the speed at which we create it. We are doing more, faster, with more people.

The latest jump, exemplified by Git, imposes almost no arbitrary constraints on a workflow. Thus, we have to discover and share the workflows that suit our people and our organizations, instead of living with past awkward workflows that suited our machines. Some of those workflows are explored in this book. I’m sure that more will be discovered in the future.

It is also difficult to overstate the importance and difficulty of education. Not merely memorizing facts or merely training tasks, but the deeper kind of education: how to think a certain way, to understand why to think that way, and how to share those thoughts with someone else.

Using a version control system properly is a way to think: to structure, remember, and share thoughts, at the level of depth and rigor demanded by the exhausting craft of writing software. Without that understanding, using Git will be, at best, “magical incantations”, used by rote, and full of unknown dangers. With that understanding, Git can become almost invisible, leaving instead the patterns of working up the intricate spells of symbols that are the magic of software.

This book will help you to educate yourself, to gain that understanding, and to do that work.

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