Improving software delivery in every organisation

Git + GitHub

All sections are required.


  • Demonstrate initializing a new git repository.
  • Demonstrate creating an empty root commit.
  • Can explain the reasoning for creating an empty root commit.


  • Demonstrate usage of git status.
  • Demonstrate staging files for commit.
  • Demonstrate committing staged files.
  • Demonstrate committing a subset of changed files using staged and unstaged files.
  • Demonstrate using stash and stash pop.

Commits, refs, and labels

  • Can explain what a commit ref is.
  • Can explain what a tag is.
  • Can explain what a branch is.


  • Demonstrate viewing the diff of changes.
  • Demonstrate viewing staged changes.


  • Demonstrate creating a new branch.
  • Demonstrate deleting a new branch.
  • Demonstrates good branch naming conventions (i.e. lowercase using dashes and/or slashes).
  • Demonstrate changing branches.
  • Demonstrate using stash to change branches when there are conflicts with uncommitted changes.


  • Demonstrate using a hard reset with a ref.
  • Demonstrate using a soft reset with a ref.
  • Explain why you’d use a hard reset or a soft reset.


  • Demonstrate merging two refs to create a new ref.
  • Demonstrate resolving merge conflicts.


  • Demonstrate doing a simple rebase of master onto a branch.
  • Demonstrate performing an amend to previous commit.
  • Demonstrate performing an interactive rebase of a branch.
    • Demonstrate using all possible rebase options.

Cherry Picking

  • Demonstrate cherry picking a single commit from another branch.
  • Demonstrate recording the original commit hash in the commit message.
  • Demonstrate cherry picking multiple commits.
  • Explain at least one situation when a cherry pick would be appropriate.


  • Demonstrate using git add to stage parts of unstaged files (not whole files).
    • Both using the patch subcommand and interactive mode.

Visualizing Commits

  • Can draw a git tree on paper.
  • Can explain a rebase with appropriate drawing.
  • Can explain a merge with appropriate drawing.

Working with Remotes

  • Demonstrate adding a remote to an existing repository.
  • Demonstrate pushing to a remote repository.
  • Explain the difference between git pull and git fetch.
  • Explain the difference between origin/master and master.
  • Demonstrate setting the default upstream branch for a local branch.
  • Demonstrate force pushing rebases into isolated upstream Pull Request branches.
  • Demonstrate force pushing with lease.
    • Can explain what this does and why it is useful.

Ignoring files

  • Demonstrate using .gitignore files.
  • Explain what types of files should be ignored.
  • Demonstrate the utility of global git ignores git config --global core.excludesfile ~/.gitignore


  • Demonstrate opening a Pull Request.
  • Demonstrate cleaning up merged branches.
  • Demonstrate appropriate rebasing of isolated branches.
  • With reference to Continuous Integration, can explain why every commit in master should pass all tests.

Pull Request Etiquette

  • Explain aims of code reviews.
  • Explain best practices around leaving reviews.
  • Explain the impact of the diff size on a Pull Request.
  • Explain the impact of long-lived Pull Requests.

Git Commit Messages

  • Awareness that following the ettiquette of your current team is important.
    • E.g. GDS have a Git style guide
    • While the GDS guide is in general very good practice some teams may need to adjust it for their context.
  • Explain the importance of “why” in commit messages.
  • Demonstrate writing commit messages that explain “why” and “what”.
  • Demonstrate giving commit messages short and long descriptions using a text editor.
  • Demonstrate changing the default text editor that git uses.

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