10 Things I Stopped Doing After Learning Version Control

Photo by Max Duzij on Unsplash

As a programmer, my journey started with a simple text editor and a lot of chaos. I was constantly making changes to my code without any real system in place to track them. It was a recipe for disaster until I discovered the magic of version control.

Here are the ten things I stopped doing after learning version control, and how it transformed my programming life.

1. Saving Multiple Copies of Files

Before version control, I used to create multiple copies of my code files with names like code_v1, code_final, and code_backup. This was a nightmare to manage, and I often lost track of which file was the most recent. With version control, I can make changes freely, knowing that I can always go back to a previous version if needed.

# Without Version Control

2. Manually Tracking Changes

I used to manually write down the changes I made to my code in a notebook. With version control, I don’t need to do that anymore. Every change is automatically tracked, and I can see exactly what was added, modified, or deleted in the codebase.

git log

3. Emailing Code to Collaborators

Sharing code used to involve sending large email attachments or copying code onto a USB drive. Now, I simply create a repository and invite collaborators. They can clone the repository and work on the code together, making collaboration seamless.

git clone <repository_url>

4. Losing My Work

I’ve had my fair share of computer crashes and lost code due to not saving frequently enough. Version control not only helps me keep track of my work but also provides a backup in case of data loss.

git commit -m "Save work"

5. Fear of Experimentation

Before version control, I was hesitant to experiment with my code because I was afraid of breaking it irreparably. With version control, I can create branches to experiment freely and merge them when I’m satisfied with the results.

git checkout -b new-feature

6. Forgetting What Changed

In the past, I often found myself asking, “What did I change in this code?” With version control, I can review my commits and see exactly what modifications were made to the codebase.

git diff <commit_hash>

7. Struggling with Rollbacks

Rolling back changes without version control was a nightmare. I had to manually find and replace code or restore from my scattered backup files. Now, I can easily roll back to a previous commit with a single command.

git reset --hard <commit_hash>

8. Code Conflicts and Overwrites

Collaborating on code projects used to result in conflicts and overwrites. With version control, conflicts are easily managed, and I can merge changes from multiple contributors seamlessly.

git merge <branch_name>

9. Limited Code History

Without version control, I had a limited history of code changes, making it challenging to trace the evolution of a project. With version control, I have a detailed history of every change made, providing valuable insights.

git log --since="3 months ago"

10. Difficulty in Code Reviews

Reviewing code without version control meant exchanging code snippets and reviewing them separately. Now, I can easily create pull requests, review changes, and provide feedback within the repository.

git pull-request

Learning version control was a game-changer for my programming journey. It streamlined my workflow, improved collaboration, and gave me peace of mind knowing that my code is well-organized and protected. If you’re still not using version control, I highly recommend giving it a try.

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