Why is Git so hard to learn?

Why is Git so hard to learn? by Ori Shalev

Answer by Ori Shalev:

Because probably like most people, you skipped the basics. Most people either pick the wrong source to learn Git from, or pick the right one but assume they can skip the introductory parts.

There are hundreds of Git tutorials, but 99% of them are about what commands one needs to run to get some outcome, rather that really understanding the mental model.

The documentation in git-scm.com is one of those very few sources that explain Git the right way, particularly in this page – Getting Started – Git Basics.

Apparently, the people at git-scm are well aware of the importance of not skipping the basics – they included the following in Paragraph 1:

This is an important section to absorb, because if you understand what Git is and the fundamentals of how it works, then using Git effectively will probably be much easier for you.

Why people tend to skip the basics? it’s probably a combination of the following:

  • Skipping the basics worked for them with most other tools
  • They pick the wrong tutorial
  • They don’t realize that the git model can be substantially different than what they know about version control
  • They need something right now, it’s easier to just copy/paste a command from a web cheatsheet or ask a coworker
  • They needed something “right now” on several occasions, and after a few times, they feel like they already know enough and they won’t learn anything new by reading the basics

Why is Git so hard to learn?


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