Learn Git with Team Services
By: Robert Outlaw
This tutorial will walk you through some basic Git tasks using Visual Studio Team Services. You’ll work with Team Services and learn Git basics using your web browser and a free Team Services account. This ten minute guide covers four key Git tasks:
- Create a new repo for your code.
- Add some code and save the changes.
- Create a feature branch and make some changes on it.
- Merge the changes into your master branch using a pull request.
When you’re done, you’ll have a Git repo that you can clone and use with our quick start guide to get your own code shared quickly.
Create a new repo
Code in Git is stored in repositories, or repos. A repo isn’t much more than a folder where Git manages your files. A repo contains the current version of the code you are working on plus all versions of files ever tracked.
Create a repo on the web in Team Services with the following steps:
Open your account on the web. Select Code, then select the drop-down next to the current repo name and choose New Repository.
In the Create a new repository window, verify that Git is the repo type and enter a name for your repo. Select Add a README but leave the Add a .gitignore option unselected.
- Your repo will be created with a readme file and you can now add code to it.
Add code to your repo
Now that you’ve created your repo, add some code to it. Select the … next to your repo name on the left and select Add File(s)...
Enter HelloWorld.html in the New File Name field and select OK. Paste the following HTML in the editor, then select the save icon ( ) to save your changes.
<html lang="en"> <head> <title>Hello from Team Services</title> </head> <body> Hello World! </body> </html>
When you hit the save icon, a new commit was created to add the HelloWorld.html file to your repo. You create a new commit every time you want to save changes in Git.
Create a branch
So far you’ve updated code only in the
master branch of your repo.
Branches let you save changes to your code without changing the code in
the master branch. It’s a good idea to create a new branch for each task
you’re working on to isolate changes. This means you can make a quick
bugfix on a branch without having to worry about accidentally adding
new, untested code from another branch.
Create a new branch in your Team Services repo from the web to update the HelloWorld.html file we created earlier. From your repo, select the dropdown next to master (your current branch), and select New Branch…
Since you’ll use this branch to update the HTML file with a new
update-greeting as the branch name. You’ll notice in the
dialog that your branch is based off the
master branch, which is where
we saved HelloWorld.html earlier. Select Create branch to create the
new branch. Team Services will automatically switch you to working in
update-greeting branch you just created. At this moment, no files
have changed and the contents of the two branches are identical.
Select HelloWorld.html to view the contents of the file. Select the Edit button to make updates. Change the greeting to be a bit more direct.
<body> Hello everyone! </body>
Select the disk icon ( )
to save your changes to a new commit on the
update-greeting branch now points to a different version of
HelloWorld.html than the
master branch does.
Merge branches via pull request
Once your changes in a branch are ready you’ll need to merge them to the
master branch that everyone shares. Keeping
master up to date is
important-it makes sure that your team’s new branches are based off the
most recent version of code. For that same reason, you also want to keep
master branch as high quality as possible, so others don’t base
their work off buggy code.
Git combines the merge and review of code into the
through pull requests. You create a pull requests when you’d like to
merge code from your branch into one shared by the team, such as
master. The pull request lists the proposed file changes, and the
reviewers of the pull request can comment and vote on if they want the
changes to be added to the shared branch.
Create a pull request for the
update-greeting branch we created. You
will use this pull request to merge the changes you made in
HelloWorld.html into the
Select the Files link while browsing your repo. You’ll notice a
message to create a pull request for the
update-greeting branch after
you saved the new version of HelloWorld.html in the previous
Select Create a pull request to open a new pull request to get the
update-greeting merged into the
On the create pull request page, you can see the change in the greeting we made to the HelloWorld.html file. If this was a real pull request for review by your team, you’d want to make sure that the title and description were more meaningful than the default provided, as well as add team members to the list of reviewers. Select New pull request.
Once the pull request is open, complete the pull request and merge the
master by selecting Complete, then Complete merge
from the drop-down. Verify the merged changes by viewing the
HelloWorld.html on your
master branch, which will now have the
changes made in the
Now that you have a repo and are familiar with some of the basics of Git, you can follow the Git quick start to learn how to clone an existing repo and start working with Git using your favorite tools on your computer.
Get started with unlimited free private Git repos in Visual Studio Team Services.
|Robert is a content developer at Microsoft working on Visual Studio Team Services and Team Foundation Server.|