Git is a specific open-source version control system. GitHub is provided by GitHub, Inc. as a cloud-based code hosting platform for version control with Git and user collaboration. Both products are powerful tools, but only the basic features are required for contributing. Please note that different communities (online communities and/or GitHub organizations) may have different standards for acceptable contributions that cannot be fully explored in this post – you should review the community’s individual README or help files and ask questions before contributing to the individual Git project.
This post is about utilizing GitHub because you can use it to contribute without an advanced knowledge of Git. GitHub presents an alternative way to interface with Git – entirely through a web-based interface instead of command line! If you want to understand more of the internal workings of Git, there is a separate community post: https://community.lsst.org/t/resources-for-git.
If you’re wholly unfamiliar, the Wikipedia GitHub page provides a good overview of GitHub services and its common use cases. The official GitHub Docs site includes getting started tutorials, common features and advanced tools; and GitHub provides a free learning service, GitHub Learning Lab.
As you can guess, there are a million sites, blogs, articles, etc. for helping, so I’ve found a few that are particularly well made and free.
CodeRefinery has a thorough GitHub tutorial: Creating repositories using the web interface — GitHub without the command line documentation.
If you want to try using GitHub Desktop, see the official documentation which starts you here: Getting started with GitHub Desktop - GitHub Docs.
@drphilmarshall, one of the Rubin Observatory Deputy Directors for Operations, provides an in depth FAQ, video and top notch resources for beginners to Git and GitHub: