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Are they even considered programs?

yes, they are programs. They, like most of the truly important software, don't have a UI, but they run none the less.

My point was going to be that these are concepts and protocols rather than programs, and that you would use an actual program (eg TortoiseGit) to actually use it.

But then I read your comment and realised in *nix the program is actually called "git". So I concede :-)

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