Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Curse of Version Control

Version control is a MUST for any developer - but that doesn't mean you have to use an external version control system. The importance is in the idea and attitude instead of using any specific tool.

Last week we got a harddisk crash, removing SVN version control and TRAC project management from service. Regardless of that - and summer vacations causing delay in repair - work must go on. Was shocked to realize how much I had started to rely and depend on SVN as part of normal development cycle. Suddenly I was on loose ground!

Version control without a version control tool requires certain kind of routines:
  • Think before you start doing anything
  • Complete your thinking before you start doing anything
  • Test your thinking before you start doing anything
  • When thinking is done, start doing - don't procastinate

This time it's all about you. It's all in the mind. It's personal.

  • Split the work into small enough parts which you can design, implement, test and release during one cycle
  • Never start anything you can't complete during same session
  • Make regular backups of your progress, even local ones
  • Document what you plan to do and how you think you did it
  • Automate anything you can
The less you have to keep in your mind, the better you can focus. The better you can focus, the faster you get results. The faster you get results, the easier it will be to fix them.

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