Nicolas Alpi, Web developer

A blog about productivity, startups and me.

Please, Use a Version Control System, Even if Your Work Alone.

Currently, in my team, we are looking for a new junior web developer.

Each time it is the same process.

   1. Read the CV.
   2. First call to see if the person will be ok FOR the role.
   3. Second call with technical questions.

In these technical questions, one is : “Have your ever used a source versioning control system ?”

Easy, isn’t it ?

You’d be surprised with the responses we had :

   1. No never used before.
   2. Yes I’ve used Eclipse/Tortoise
   3. What is it ?
   4. No, never because I worked alone or because we were a small team

Come on, how can you imagine working on a project, even small and own project, without a version control system ?

Saving your code, diff capabilities, branches, tags, reverts, history …. can you code without this ?

To hard or you don’t have any server for that ?

Have a look at GitHub

You don’t need one, you work alone ?

So, you never make mistake, you’ve never modified a file and seen a hidden bug 1 week later, never copied and pasted a part of code in a text editor just in case it doesn’t work, never renamed a folder with the word ‘works/ok/test’ ?

If you can say yes to one or more of the behaviours above, you should take half a day to put your project under a version control system and learn how to use it.

If you want to learn more about version control system, smashing magazine made a presentation of 7 version control systems, just take a look.

At work, migration is in progress from CVS to SVN, and for my personal projects, I use Git on GitHub, very easy and very cheap.

What about you ? Do you use one ? Which one and why ?