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Pragmatic Guide to Git (Pragmatic Programmers) Paperback – November 25, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1934356722 ISBN-10: 1934356727 Edition: 1st

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Pragmatic Guide to Git (Pragmatic Programmers) + Version Control with Git: Powerful tools and techniques for collaborative software development + Pro Git (Expert's Voice in Software Development)
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Product Details

  • Series: Pragmatic Programmers
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (November 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356727
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356722
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #382,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"With two years of experience with Git, I thought I would have known most everything in Pragmatic Guide to Git. After reading it cover to cover, I learned that’s not the case. It’s a well-organized collection of useful Git techniques for all audiences."

—Luke Pillow, Software engineer,

"This book is a must-have for anyone using Git or just getting started with Git. It has saved me time in finding the best practices for managing my Git repositories and will sit on my bookshelf as the go-to resource for anything Git."

—John Mertic, Senior software engineer, SugarCRM

"Git can be intimidating and frustrating to new users. Pragmatic Guide to Git alleviates that pain with a straightforward, concise walk-through that arms readers with exactly what they need to use Git productively."

—Luigi Montanez, Software Developer, Sunlight Labs

About the Author

Travis Swicegood is a professional programmer; owner of Domain51, a web and mobile development company in Lawrence, Kansas; and the author of Pragmatic Version Control Using Git, the first published book on Git. He's passionate about open source development and is active in communities across several languages.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
Good book, well written.
T. Hollins
I am rating it with 4 out of 5 stars, because sometimes I felt that the very important stuff didn't get as much attention as one would expect.
This book is pretty much what the title says: a pragmatic guide to understanding and using Git.
Steve Berczuk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Joel Clermont on November 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm a relatively seasoned SVN user eager to make the switch to Git. Where Travis' earlier book on Git was aimed more at the general user (no real prior VCS experience assumed), this one dispensed with many of the introductory remarks about VCS in general and focused on getting up to speed with GIt and understanding how it works.

There is a good mix of "how to" information with explantations for why things work the way they do. For the beginners, I also appreciated the advice on best practices with Git. For example, even though you have a private repo and can work locally, Travis advises to not "work in a cave," that is, don't work locally for too long a period of time without sharing with your team. Good advice.

The book is developed in a logical manner and each section builds solidly upon the previous sections. It covers 95% of what you need to know for day-to-day usage and gives you hints and links for more information on that remaining 5%.

Despite reading it a few months ago, I find myself referring to it once or twice a week when I'm trying to remember a particular command. I love it when books serve double duty as both an introduction to a topic and a long-term reference. I highly recommend it.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dan York on December 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
Length: 5:32 Mins
As I've been using git for a couple of years now, I wasn't entirely sure if I was the target audience for this book. It turned out to be a great reference for me and I did pick up a few tricks that I've added to my toolbox. If you have a background with version control systems like Subversion, CVS, mercurial, etc., and are just moving to git, this book will help you get up and running quickly. I found the format very useful with narrative on the left pages and commands on the right pages. It worked well for me.

In this short video, I spoke about all of that and more, as well as my one nit with the book. The additional links I mention in the video can be found at this URL:

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M Warren on November 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
The book is aimed at developers who have used a source control system before, but want to learn Git and it meets this aim well.

I particularly like the style of layout used when explaining the Git commands and in what situation they are appropriate. Having an explanation on the left-hand page and the actual commands on the right-hand page is a nice approach.

I read the book in one sitting, which says a lot about how engaging it is. But I would image that most people would read the 1st few chapters all the way though (Introduction, Getting Started and Working with Git) and then dip into the other chapters when needed.

I would've preferred to have seen a more in-depth comparison of regular v. distributed Version Control Systems (VCS) and more info about how you work differently in Git. As a distributed VCS is fundamentally different from a regular one, people with experience in SVN (or similar) might need more help understanding the difference in the process. But this is only a minor quibble.

I would definitely recommend it to someone who was looking to move from a traditional VCS to Git. Whilst it doesn't cover every aspect of Git, it successfully covers the 95% it sets out to. However I would say that it's not that useful to someone completely new to source control, but to be fair it doesn't claim to be targeting this audience.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Matt on March 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is great for quickly showing you how to use git. As others have said, it does a good job at laying out the basics, without dragging you through a bunch of detail on the inner workings of the tool. For some people that might be nice. I have been using git for quite some time, and I got this book thinking it would help me deepen my understanding and introduce me to things I didn't know before (I had a choice of two books to pick from, and I only knew the title and table of contents...). While there were a few commands in this book that I hadn't seen, the bulk of it was things I have known and used for a long time, and it gives only a shallow explanation of most things. This is not a book for an experienced git user.

The book is a handy reference for every day tasks when you're first learning. However, I wonder if a (free) online reference might be just as effective. I suppose that depends on your style. The layout is pretty handy, as has been mentioned in other reviews; it's nice to have a simple description of the task on one side of the page and the commands to do the task on the other side of the page. Some of the font decisions in the book baffle me, though.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Craig Schmidt on June 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
There is a whole mental model involved with Git. Then you have to learn all the commands you need to type. I think this book succeeds brilliantly with the second aspect, but might need a top up on the concepts.

I watched two screencasts first to get the "Git way" into my head. The first was the PeepCode screencast on Git, and then "Mastering Git Basics" by Tom Preston-Werner (a co-founder of GitHub). After watching those, I felt I had a good grasp of the concept, but I didn't know the commands to do various things. That's where this book filled in the details on all the commands you'll need. I really enjoyed this book's two page layout. It has explanation on the left page, and example commands on the right page. Great stuff.

That's a pretty good way to learn git in 3 evenings. Watch screencasts the first night, and then read this book the next two nights.
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