Business Rants

Version control: yes, even solo developers need it!

  • November 14, 2015
Dunce sitting in a corner

Don’t be me

True geek confessions time, and you experienced developers can point and laugh at me as you please.

The other day a web app I wrote and support started behaving differently than I expected. I looked into it and realized the hosting company had somehow restored from an old backup and the deployed version wasn’t the most current. Let’s not go into the the evils of that, it’s between me and them.

So, I went to grab my latest copy to restore from and, to my horror, realized I had no easy way to get my hands on the latest versions of the various (and numerous) files involved. In my extreme knuckle headed stupidity I had ad hoc updated stuff piecemeal from various sources.

Um, yeah.

Yes, Virginia: version control is important even when you’re working on a project solo. I was remiss in taking shortcuts in my zeal to get stuff handled quickly and this episode bit me in the ass. I recovered quickly (thank you, Unix command line ‘find’ with date stamp filters) but the process was way more slipshod and harrowing than it ever should have been.

So, lesson learned. I’m now running Subversion on my server and my work computers are set up to check stuff in and out properly, like I should have been doing all along. Each current project is getting integrated into the main repository as step one the next time I work on it.

I know how to do this stuff, really I do. I just got lazy and careless. Don’t be me.

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