What is Git

If you are exploring Version Control for your development teams you are likely asking, “What is Git?”

Simply defined, Git is a Version Control Management System (VCMS).  The most popular use for it is to manage source code for software development projects but it can be used to manage any type of computer files.

It was built initially to support development of Linux and focused on speed and scalability as it's two main objectives.


  • Distributed – Every node in the system is a full repository in its own right.  Any may be used to accomplish back up and recovery of the repository up to the point of last synchronization.
  • File Based – Working with git involves working directly with files in the file system.  Changes to files are detected and commands are used to commit those files and push them to remote nodes in the system.
  • Fast Linus Torvalds, the creator of Git and Linux, had an objective that patching take no more than three seconds to sync.
  • Branch Driven – The branching system allows extreme flexibility when it comes to versioning source code.  Branches are simple to create and maintain and merge easily.  This makes working with large scale distributed teams very easy to accomplish.

Git Providers

Git Hub

The most commonly known provider is Git Hub.  Git Hub provides both free and paid repositories.  With the paid option you can make your repository private.  Free repositories must be kept public.

Git Hub is well known and widely used in the development community.  It is particularly popular in with open source projects.

AWS Code Commit

Code Commit is Amazon's offering.  It is free for up to five developers on a team.  However, there is no option to open it to the global community so it does not fit well with a large scale open source project initiative.


VisualStudio.com from Microsoft offers not only Git version management but also integrates with Microsoft's Team Foundation Server for project management, continuous inGit tegration and continuous deployment.  For developers in the Microsoft Stack of tools this full integration offers some helpful efficiencies.  For developers outside of this stack it is unlikely this would be useful.


Git is one of the most flexible, high performing and widely adopted version control management systems available today.  It's share of the market has grown rapidly since its introduction in 2006, not because of massive marketing campaigns, but because of its ability to serve the needs of project teams the world over.

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Also, review my list of Git resources to help you begin using it to its full potential.