Uh-oh: The absolute necessity of source control

So you added a new feature to your program and it required a few changes throughout the app. Then, once you test it, you realize it doesn’t work the way you wanted and you need to strip it out and change everything back. Why not do all that with a single press of a button?

It surprises me how many people don’t use source control. Even people who use it at work don’t necessarily use it for personal projects. They’ll claim it’s too small a project to matter. I say everything goes into source control.

First, if cost is an issue, drop that thought. GitHub is completely free if you make the project open source, and even Visual Studio Online is free if you have no more than five developers. Both allow for unlimited projects.

You may say source control is annoying. Running commands and merges is a lot of work for a simple app. Come on. Visual Studio has what is essentially one button check-in and merge control to highlight the differences. You just select which file to keep or you selectively check-in files for further fixing. Rollback is just as simple.

The other thing to consider is this: What if your hardware dies? Or maybe you have multiple development machines. Is it worth the risk transferring everything by flash drive?

Simply put, there’s no reason not to use source control. And there is absolutely no reason to work on a project without it.

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