How could your team operate on a daily basis without some method or tool to keep track of changes within the code? I already can hear all rising voices – that would be a truly hellish experience, abort the mission… But thanks to Linus Torvalds there is a perfect solution to don’t let it happen. By this, I mean the git – a distributed version control system that changed the IT world. And as you have found this article, you were probably looking for information on how to improve the code development process. Let me be your guide then to this wonderful git-oriented world. I will start with answering very basic questions – what is git and why should you consider moving to the git ecosystem.
Git – a technology worth your time
Created in 2005 git has become one of the most used version control systems. This is not a false claim – about 70 percent of shares on the market belong to it. OK, so what is exactly the version control system knows also as VCS? Version control is a system (a software tool) that tracks all changes within a code over time. In general, it is extremely helpful in code management and it also greatly improves the development process.
Git is usefull but the world doesn’t end there. If you or your team looks for a more comprehensive solution, there are also available git hosting services like GitHub, Bitbucket, or GitLab. They offer additional benefits and tools, for example, the DevOps pipeline. But to keep this text on an introductory level I will skip these aspects – for now.
Why should you move to git?
Let’s think for a moment about why moving to git is such a good idea. As I mentioned before git is a distributed version control system. It practice, it means that every developer has a copy of the source code – in a form of a repository – kept locally on a device. He or she can then remotely make necessary changes to the code without any issues. It works like this: first, there is a change made in the code done on the local machine. In the next step, the developer creates a commit and sends changes to the branch. After a code review – only when there have been no issues or bugs detected – the branch is merged to the master. Easy? Secure? Yes! You can see it yourself, git is a team-oriented solution. Organizations that moved to git – or one of its hosting services – note that it makes team collaboration much easier. There is also a big improvement in regard to code maintenance and speeding development cycles. Better quality code and faster releases – what to do want more, right? Let’s move on into the next paragraph.
GitHub – a general introduction
What does distinguish GitHub from git? While git is a technology, GitHub as a hosting service allows managing git repositories. With more than 56M users worldwide it is the most popular platform on the market. GitHub is available for free or as a paid service, but its biggest popularity comes from open-source projects such as Node.js, Tensorflow, or Visual Studio Code. Today GitHub has also the world’s largest coding community, and at least 29M public repositories.
There is also another benefit connected to GitHub. It has an official marketplace that offers hundreds of hundred applications – paid or completely free – and actions. Are you looking for a secret manager? There is Doppler. Or moving into a pro-GitHub backup solution – check GitProtect.io.
Did I ease your mind? I truly hope so. As a final thing, keep in mind that git and GitHub are great in general but they are not backup solutions. Don’t mix git hosting with git backup! I am writing this because it is a common misconception – and very dangerous too. Mixing these two solutions together gives a false sense of security. Remember that only you – as a user or your organization account’s administrator – are responsible for providing code security on your side. And as when it comes to traditional backup you will rather choose professionals in this regard, do the same with DevOps ecosystem backup. Instead of self-made backup scripts implement a professional GitHub backup solution.