Version control – it sounds like a complicated term, and without a thorough understanding of what it actually is, it certainly can be complicated.
The course Learning Git and GitHub on LinkedIn offers newcomers to this challenging field a bit of an introduction to version control via Git and GitHub along with many other related concepts.
If you’re an experienced programmer, this course is probably not for you. However, if you’re a beginner – particularly someone working in software development or information technology (or even someone who just wants to), then taking this course is a no-brainer.
I’ll tell you what you need to know in my Learning Git and GitHub course review.
What is Git and GitHub?
In a nutshell, Git is a popular version control system that was first developed in 2005.
What is version control, you might ask? Version control is somewhat like a save program for a project, logging and tracking changes that you make to a file or a set of files or a period of time. Version control allows you to review, save, adn restore earlier versions of a development project.
Git is one of the most widely-used version control systems and can be installed and maintained on a local system instead of in the cloud. That way, you can access your changes even if you don’t have internet access (although you’ll need the internet to download it, of course).
Git is popular because it is cheap (well…free!), easy to use, and responsive. It works well with text files and has a branching model that allows you to try out new ideas and return to earlier branches.
GitHub, on the other hand, is an online database that makes it possible for users to keep track of and then share their Git projects outside of their local servers or computers. It is cloud based and is a popular choice for open-source projects.
What Kinds of Content Does the Course Cover?
The introduction to this course is pretty basic, but I don’t recommend that you skip it. Not only will watching the introduction gives you a good overview of what you can expect to get out of the course, but it will give you some additional resources you can consult, too.
If you plan on using the exercise files that come with this course – something I’ll talk more about later in this review – then watching the introduction is recommended because it will tell you how to navigate and use those exercise files.
Getting Started with Git and GitHub
The first “main” module of this course is titled Getting Started with Git and GitHub. In this module, you will learn how to install Git on either a Mac or a PC. These instructionals are quick and to the point and come with video tutorials to show you where and how to do this.
Then, you’ll move on to some more in-depth training. You will learn how to make initializing, adding, committing, and status changes. Then, you’ll learn how to work with the staging environment and delete files. You will even learn how to manage your log and control the state with branches.
Now, my favorite part of this module – the chapter quiz.
It may sound odd that I appreciate the quiz, but as someone who is new to this field (and has to reread and rewatch several sections of the course all over again to understand the concepts), I found the chapter quiz incredibly helpful.
This five-section quiz consists of multiple-choice questions. Get the question right, and you move on. Get it wrong, and the quiz will prompt you to review the video where it is mentioned – you’ll even be navigated back to that video so you know where to find the specific conformation without having to dig for it. That’s super helpful if you truly want to master the content in the course.
Working With GitHub Projects
In the next course module, you will learn more specifically about how to work with GitHub. You will learn how to analyze the structure of a project, how to clone a GitHub project or individual branches, and how to use a GitHub branch as a template.
Again, this module comes with a helpful chapter quiz, this one only three questions since the module is also much shorter than the last (there’s less information here to cover).
As with the introduction, I found the “next steps” section to be incredibly helpful – it served as an excellent endcap to the course. It only contains one “sub-module,” a section named “goodbye.” In this section, Villalobos wraps up the material you covered and also gives you more information on where to learn more about GitHub or get in touch with the author if you have any follow-up questions.
If you only wanted the meat and bones of the course, you could probably skip this section – but I wouldn’t. It ties everything together quite nicely.
The LinkedIn Course Platform
If you’re new to taking online courses, LinkedIn Learning is a great place to start.
LinkedIn offers users a friendly, familiar face and an easy to use interface. Not only can you take a course in partially any subject, from business to computer science and everything in between, but you can do so at your own convenience.
The only downside to using LinkedIn Learning is that it is not free. In order to access the many courses available here, you will need to pay a subscription fee. That said, the subscription fee entitles you to take as many courses as you would like in a one-month or one-year period.
Plus, the platform offers a user-friendly interface that includes step-by-step videos, clear instruction, and training only from certified, well-respected professionals.
The Course & The Instructor
The Learning Git and GitHub Course on LinkedIn Learning covers Git, the most popular version control system on the web. This course is fast-paced and taught by expert author Ray Villalobos, who will not only show you how to work with and install Git, but also how to work with various fundamental commands (such as managing logs, working with branches, and moving files).
Those are the most basic concepts of Git and GitHub taught by this course, but the list of content it covers doesn’t end there. You will also learn how to work with the GitHub website to discover already-made projects, clone them to your hard drive, and use them as templates for your brown project.
The course has been taken by nearly 81,000 people on LinkedIn Learning and liked by nearly 3,400.
Villalobos has been an instructor on LinkedIn Learning for more than four and a half years, working for Lynda.com prior to this website’s merger with LinkedIn Learning. His courses are so popular that many have been translated to other languages (including Japanese and German).
Not only that, but Villalobos has experience working as an adjunct instructor at Seminole State College of Florida. He also worked as the director of multimedia for various companies, including Entravision Communications and Mega Communications.
He has numerous recommendations on his LinkedIn profile. I enjoyed reading these, as it gave me greater confidence in choosing him as my course instructor for this topic. One particularly funny (yet poignant!) review reads:
“Ray is a KICK-BUTT author. He combines three talents to produce great content:
ONE: Deep technical knowledge. Ray is constantly learning new topics and, without hesitation, digs into the technical nuances. He stays on top of new technology, understands how it fits into the big picture, and anticipates the ‘next big thing.’
TWO: Ability to ‘unfold’ a concept. The hardest part of teaching technology is remembering that not everyone knows the basics; but most people are loath to admit their deficiencies. Ray keeps in mind the concepts leading up to the current lesson, and makes sure there is a clear path to understanding.
THREE: Empathy for the student. I have always been impressed with Ray’s advocacy for the learner. It might be easier to deliver a ‘b-grade’ product, but Ray is passionate about striving for the best product.
In summary: Ray delivers a great product, useful for a wide range of learners.”
If that testimonial doesn’t speak for itself when it comes to the legitimacy of this course, I don’t know what does!
Major Benefits of Taking This Course
Clear Learning Objectives
When you take any course – but particularly an online course that you are essentially paying for – it can be reassuring to see that the course is backed by solid reviews and also has clear learning objectives. For a concept as complicated as GitHub, this is even more important.
I wanted to make sure I was choosing a class with the clearest possible learning objectives, which was why I selected this option on LinkedIn Learning. I could view the course objectives before I even got started so that it was easy to see what was going to be expected of me by the end of the course.
This course does not break down the learning objectives in its overview, but it does give you a brief listing of the skills that the course covers. These include Git, GitHub, software updates, and version control.
Short & Sweet Course Delivery
At less than an hour and a half long, this course is just long enough without being overly complicated or verbose. When you take it, you won’t feel as though you are listening to an instructor droning on and on for hours about the same topic. Lots of online courses do this – they pad the course material just to make it seem like you are getting more of a value out of the class.
With this class, though, each module is broken down into short but sweet sections. You can move through all of these sections and subsections at once, or you can take your time and complete them in mini-chunks. I rewatched many of the course segments, and even doing that, didn’t take more than two hours to master the content in the course.
Certification Available at End of Course
After you complete this class, you can choose to download a certificate. Having proof that you are trained in Git and GitHub, even at the most elementary level, is great for professionals who wish to work in programming, even at a basic level.
Truth be told, this kind of certification is not necessary as a base requirement for getting a job with most companies – most will want to see a college degree or perhaps some work experience. However, there are other situations in which having this badge displayed on your resume or LinkedIn profile might be useful. Particularly if you are going out as a freelancer, having this kind of certification can show prospective clients that you really know your stuff.
Comes with Bonus Exercise Files
This is perhaps my favorite feature of the class – it comes with bonus exercise files! These are helpful because you can download them and use them to practice the material that is covered in the course. As a hands-on learner, I found these exercise files to be incredibly helpful – they make paying the cost for the LinkedIn Learning subscription well worth the cost on their own.
This course, as with most LinkedIn courses, is compatible across most devices. I took the course on a desktop computer, but you can also choose to take it on a laptop or a mobile device. Although you will need to pay for a LinkedIn Learning membership (there’s a free trial available), the app itself can be downloaded for free from the App Store and from Google Play.
Notebook and Transcript Features
I absolutely love the “bonus features” that LinkedIn Learning offers with this course!
One of the best is the notebook. When you use the notebook feature, you can track comments that you make to yourself or other notes as you move through each of the modules. The notebook feature will monitor the additions for you so that when you are done with the class, you’ll have a convenient chunk of notes to reflect back on.
I found this particularly helpful as a beginner. Being able to type out my notes helped to solidify the information I was learning in my brain, and also gave me a resource that I could return to long after the course had ended.
The transcript button is another feature I love. Occasionally, I have a hard time catching what the instructor is saying or I get distracted while writing down notes. Having a transcript to refer to is helpful because it allows me to get myself caught back up – and offers a more convenient way of studying the material later on.
If you happen to be a visual and auditory learner like I am, you’ll love the transcript feature because you can both read and listen to the content all at once.
The organization of this course was another thing I really appreciated. Each new learning objective was clearly broken down and delineated in a fresh module so that it was easy to understand where one chunk of information ended and another one began.
With that kind of organization, it’s much easier for you to make progress in the course content. You can return to individual sections as needed to study the unique content covered there, or blaze through it all at once.
Hands-On Instruction and Videos
One of my favorite features when it comes to taking any class via LinkedIn Learning – or really most online course platforms, for that matter – is that you will benefit from hands-on instruction and helpful video tutorials.
Every segment of the course is broken down so that you can view the instructor’s screen as he works. Those screencasts are helpful if you’re a beginner, as you can see what he is doing exactly as he is doing it (rather than having to look at hazy pictures later on or try to figure out what to do just based on the audio alone).
Designed for a True Beginner Looking for a Quick Introduction
I’ll be honest – this class is not the most in-depth one you are going to find when it comes to learning Git and GitHub. However, it is easily one of the most succinct and easy to follow. You’ll learn the most common tasks related to Git and GitHub, as well as why they are important. If all you’re looking for is a quick overview, then this class is ideal.
Access to Q&A
The question and answer section for this course was incredibly helpful. You can ask a question at a certain segment during the course – for example, you can flag your question during the “welcome” section or during any of the other modules.
This makes it useful for the instructor, in particular, to reference your question. You can ask questions of other course users, too, which I found helpful in case the instructor didn’t get back to me in time to answer my query.
It’s important to note that LinkedIn Learning also has a section where you can get technical assistance – beneficial if you have trouble downloading certificates or navigating some other aspect of the actual course delivery.
If you aren’t sure whether this class is right for you, don’t worry – there are plenty of other options on LinkedIn Learning for you to consider.
Some of the most popular include:
- Learning Software Version Control
- Sass Essential Training
- Programming Foundations: Real-World Examples
- Bootstrap 3 Essential Training
If Villalobos’ teaching style is something that really jives with your learning style, you might want to consider taking one or more additional course that he teaches, such as:
- GitHub Quick Tips
- Remote Collaboration for developers with Microsoft Live Share (offered in conjunction with instructor Walt Ritscher)
- CSS: Scrolling and Parallax
- Bootstrap 4 Essential Training
Complaints About the Course
This is a complaint that I’ve cited in other LinkedIn Learning course reviews, but I find it a bit bothersome that this course is not free. You can always sign up for a LinkedIn Learning trial, but otherwise, you will need to pay for a LinkedIn Learning premium subscription. This can be done on a monthly or annual basis, and while the annual subscription is less than $30, this is still a hefty price to pay for one quick, hour-and-a-half-long course.
That said, if you plan on taking multiple courses, then paying for a subscription might be the way to go – other platforms charge you by the course while this one allows you to take as many classes as you want during the one-month period (or one-year, depending on which option you choose).
This is a feature that I have noticed on other LinkedIn Learning courses, and it’s one that is beginning to concern me – you can’t actually read reviews from people who have taken the class in the past.
Although this course has been taken by many thousands of students, you can’t actually find out whether they were satisfied with it or not. While that’s certainly not a dealbreaker, it would be nice to know what other students think before investing the hour and a half of my time in taking the class.
Hasn’t Been Updated in 5 Years
As with many of the courses you’ll find on LinkedIn Learning, the Learning Git and GitHub course by Ray Villalobos has not been updated in quite some time. Although Villalobos is still an active user on LinkedIn, having uploaded many other courses, you won’t be able to view any recent updates to this course in particular.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing – there are plenty of other courses that haven’t’ been updated, either, and since I’m not super experienced with Git or GitHub I’m not sure that it even needs updating. However, it would be nice to see more frequent updates from the instructor so that I know I’m accessing the most recent, most relevant content.
Who is the Learning Git and GitHub Course On LinkedIn Learning Best For?
If you look at the learner profile for this course, you will see that most people who take it work as information technology consultants, software testers, and software developers. However, you don’t need to be currently working in one of those fields to benefit from this class.
Because it is delivered in easy-to-understand terms, it is a course that is accessible by just about anyone. As long as you have a willingness to learn and a good INternet connection, this is a great class for you to consider taking.
Consider signing up for a LinkedIn Learning account and take the Learning Git and GitHub course soon!