Today our class was introduced to the inner workings of computers. For apple, we are working with MackBook Pros, the terminal is used to essentially command a computer to perform actions. Terminal was supposed to be practiced on the first day of the cohort, but obstacles arose. In a world of technology, it is important to know how to overcome or bypass difficulties for they are in abundance. Perhaps more important than our previous lessons, it was imperative that we followed instructions in the most meticulous manner. One wrong key stroke can cause havoc while using terminal.
On our very first lesson of the cohort we learned about file structure, and that same lesson was reinforced today. Files are usually made by right clicking to create a new folder or file. Today we learned how computers actually create and access files. A seeming unimportant word gained great importance, “Directory”. A directory is a cataloging system that connects file paths in a computer system. During this class we learned various commands that are explained in this video by Code Academy.
After learning basic Terminal commands, we headed over to Git. Git is a version of a Distributed Version Control System. That may seem like a mouthful, but Git it is a web developers dream. By using Git, a person can have access to the full history of their projects. When learning Git, Kurt explained it to us as a tree.
Tell me about it Grandmother Willow…
There is a master branch which relates to the trunk of a tree. The master branch is where the main project lies. Then there are branches of a tree which correspond to different versions of a project. Different branches, work off the current master branch and allow the user to make alterations without effecting the master branch where you want your final project to be. When you are truly satisfied with a version, or branch, you can merge it to the master. When you merge a branch to the master it becomes the updated version that your branches will be worked off of. This can be thought of as adding a ring to a tree trunk. It took a lesson on nature for me to understand Git, but there are computer written commands to bring Git into effect. Beanstalk Guides gives a great breakdown of Git commands and their use here.
To solidify the lesson on Terminal and Git, Kurt gave us an exercise that brought me back to my childhood in the 90s. We played his version of “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?”. This wasn’t the computer game I remember, but it was technically a computer game. In Kurt’s version we went to GitHub and cloned files of data and hidden in these files was the elusive Carmen Sandiego. We searched each folder by changing directories and listing all hidden files within them. Sadly, I didn’t actually go to the countries that named each folder and file, but I did find Carmen Sandiego as I traveled through Kurt’s cloned files.