Corresponding lecture

There is no corresponding lecture. Instead, I’ll walk through how to set-up and use Git and Github on your computer.

If you’re new to R

We’re approaching the point the class where we’ll be making the jump from working in the bash/terminal to working in R/RStudio. So, if you’re completely new to R, please take time to work through this Learn R! module on the Tidyverse.


Your working directory is already starting to get messy, and the proliferation of files and file-types will only continue throughout the course. It’s time to discuss best practices for managing an active coding project using the version control system, Git, and the related web resource, Github.

Files and other things you’ll need for this lab

Set-up an account on Github - You’ll need an account to particpate in today’s lab. Fortunately, it’s free!

Visual Studio Code - Download and install this free program on your computer. This is one of the ‘code aware’ text editors I mentioned in Lecture 1, but it’s actually much more than a simple text editor, and you’ll be using today to interact with Git an Github.

Git – This is not the same as Github (which, I hope, will be clear by the end of lab today). You may already have this installed and not even know it. You can check by opening your bash program and typing ‘Git’ at the prompt. We’ll discuss installation today.

chocolateMuffin.txt - Yep, you read that right. We’ll be using a recipe to establish an understanding of Git and version control before we move on to our real project directory.

gitignore.txt – This may seem a bit cryptic and obscure, but I’ll explain this very important feature of Git during lab today. We’ll use the content of this file to make sure that Git ignores large files and raw data present in our working directory.

Follow along

Git and Github basics - We’ll work through this step-by-step tutorial together today.

On your own

Using the steps we just went through together, set-up your own Github repo based on your project folder for this course. Please make this repo public and share a link with the TAs. As part of the required homework, all in-person learners will be asked to provide this link by the start of lab on Feb 21st.

Video walkthrough

A quick (~5min) demo of the process we walked through in class. This video assumes you have Git and VS Code installed on your computer, that you’ve installed the Github Repositories extension in VS Code, and that you have a Github account and have authenticated/linked to this account through VS Code.