Version control is sometimes called source control and it is an approach that is used to track and manage changes. Since this could easily become complex and overwhelming, this kind of managing software development in this way is liberating for coders.
Source code goes through many iterations and with pressure on developers to work more and more efficiently, version control systems help them stay ahead of the curve by reducing errors and focusing their efforts more effectively. DevOps teams like the way that version control gets them to the deployment stage more quickly and maximizes their chances of a successful launch.
Version control software records each change made to the code, storing it in a specialized database. This means that coders can easily compare current and previous versions of what has been produced so they can identify and deal with errors with less disruption to their fellow workers.
Developers accumulate a lot of knowledge and wisdom as they work through the processes that lead to finely tuned source code, so it’s possible to see that the source code is the consequence of numerous separate efforts at refinement. It’s like a stone it’s been polished to a shine and this makes it very valuable, or even irreplaceable. Because version control ensures that this precious source code remains unadulterated, it’s easy to see why developers value the approach so highly.
Teams of software developers are always creating new source code and amending existing source code for all sorts of projects, apps and components, which they usually organize in a folder arrangement known as “file trees”. These file trees might be receiving attention from many different developers all at the same time as they work to create new features or track down and eliminate bugs.
Version control keeps a record of every alteration by each developer and helps prevent parallel changes from creating conflicts. It’s possible for alterations effected in one location to be incompatible with those made by another developer working at the same time. Fixing this should be possible without slowing down the rest of the team as they work. Additionally, amendments can create unforeseen problems and programs that may only show up later in testing. Version control allows steady progress until the software is stable and ready for release.
The best version control software allows developers to work in the way that suits them best without shoehorning them into one particular style. It will also be platform agnostic to allow for the greatest number of developers to use it.
The best version control systems also facilitate a seamless succession of coding changes rather than the clunky method known as file locking, which feels like a traffic light system where one developer gets priority over all the others.
But even clunky version control systems are better than no system at all because software teams often find themselves running into problems if they don’t use one.
It’s frustrating when you don’t know which changes are available to users or when incompatible changes between two distinct areas have to be slowly and carefully unpicked and rewritten. This is not a cause for celebration. Nor is trying to remember whether your labelling of files as “final” means what it says when you come across other final versions.
You may have commented out blocks of code in order to disable particular functions without getting rid of the code, because you anticipated that it might be useful later on. You can avoid these kinds of problems with version control. It is now an indispensable component of any professional software team’s workflow, and once you get used to using it you will find yourself incapable of functioning effectively without it, even on modest solo projects.