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The Control Poll

By Steve Jones,

This editorial was originally published on May 17, 2013. It is being re-run as Steve is out of the office.

I was reading about version control systems (VCS) recently, brushing up on some skills, and saw this quote in a thread:

"There is no excuse for not using version control, even for a small project developed by single developer. Setting up local version control is beyond trivial, benefits huge. Any developer not knowing that cannot be considered good nor experienced."

That's quite a pronouncement, and one that I believe is very true. No matter what type of development you engage in, I'd expect that you'd understand the benefits of using version control, and the dangers of not using it. It's just like never backing up your system. I'd think that any developer that cares about their craft and is a professional has used version control. The really good ones will insist upon it.

However I know that the decision to use a VCS is not always made by a developer. The company building the software might feel differently, and while I've always asked for a VCS, I have ended up with a series of folders on a share, named for dates, each containing a zip file of all our code at the end of that day. It was the bare minimum of version control I could live with, and fortunately we got by with just two people coordinating work. Any more than that and I'd insist on some type of VCS.

This week, I wanted to ask how many of you voluntarily or involuntarily might be forced to do something similar. 

How many of you skip source control for certain apps?

Even if you have source control for those large, multi-person teams, are there apps that you avoid putting into a VCS? What about your database code? I think it's important that you keep all your code, whether for the front end application or database objects, in some type of Version Control system. If your boss won't buy one, then check out Git or Subversion, both of which are open source and free.

Let us know this week how you feel about source control and whether or not you decide the effort isn't worthwhile for your projects.

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