Getting Started

All of our code jams happen on GitLab. If you don't have an account there, you'll need to create one before you can join one of our code jams. Teams are required to fork the repository we have set up for the current code jam, commit their code to their fork, and then open a merge request with their project on the code jam repository.

Once the challenge task has been announced, head to the link provided to reach the challenge repository. In order to work on the task, you will need to fork the repository - this will create a copy of the repository under your account, which you will be able to work on with your teammates. To do so, log into GitLab and click on the "Fork" button on the repository page. Select your username from the dialogue, and it will be forked to your account.

Once this has been done, you should find yourself looking at your new copy of the repository. Next up, you'll need to give your teammates access to it! Click on the "Settings" tab, click on "Collaborators", enter your password if you're prompted for it, and add your teammates as collaborators.

Now that you've set up your repository, it's time to install Git. If you're on Linux, you can install Git using your system's package manager. Windows users can install Git for Windows, and Mac users can install Git using Homebrew. Once you're all installed, open up a terminal (or open Git Bash if you're on Windows). For the purpose of illustration we will be working on Windows, but this will work on any platform.

We will use Git to clone the repository to the machine. Simply type git clone <url> and Git will download a copy of the repository. The URL is the same one you use to get to the repository page on GitLab. Use cd project-name to change directory to the repository.

Now, open the newly-cloned repository in your favourite editor and make some edits. We'll be using Visual Studio Code in this example, but use whatever you prefer. For example, let's create a file named "hello.py", and add a line of code to it.

Now that we've edited a file, we need to make Git aware of our changes. Head back over to your terminal, and type git add hello.py to add this file to our changeset.

Next up, we'll need to bundle up our changes into a commit, and push it to GitLab. To do that, we'll use git commit -am "message". Make sure you use a descriptive message explaining why you made your changes and what they are, but try to keep it to a single line of text if you can. Following this, we can use git push origin master to push our commit up to GitLab.

In order to pull the latest version of the code when the repository was cloned earlier, we can simply use the git pull command. In order to illustrate this, we will need to enlist the help of our lovely assistant...

Oh boy.

Once you've pushed some code to the repository, you will notice a "Merge request" link. Click on that to create a merge request, which will let us know that you're working on the task and help us to keep track of things. Simply click on the "Create merge request" button on the next page, fill in the "Title" box with your team number - for example, "Team 1" - and click the big green button to finish.

Now that your merge request has been created, keep working on your project! Code that you push to GitLab will automatically be added to your merge request in real-time. As the code jam continues on, you may find review comments waiting from us. These are just suggestions to help you improve as a programmer - free advice from us. Feel free to incorporate our suggestions into your project if you wish.

That's all there is to it! Keep working at your task, do your best and you might just come out on top!