Today I went over the packaging process with my mentors.
I used my Ubuntu 18.04 VirtualBox to go through the process here: https://www.freecadweb.org/wiki/GitBuildpackage
My mentors told me about dot files, which I understand to be a type of hidden file that contains configuration settings. One of the questions I had was where to put the dotfiles. I found the answer to that:
Dot files should be stored in the home directory.
Once the dot files were in my home directory I used
gbp buildpackage -us -uc
to begin the packaging process.
Unfortunately I ran into some errors during this step. After investigating the cause by using
git-pbuilder login --save-after-login and
to check my distribution configuration we found that this:
deb http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/ bionic main restricted universe multiverse
#deb-src http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/ bionic main restricted universe multiverse
was my sources.list. I needed to be using the Debian unstable distribution. Further attempts to change this file did not succeed.
Eventually, we decided that I should use a Debian Test distribution and set it as the unstable version. I downloaded and set up the virtual machine for my next attempt.