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Lifecycle   »   Development   »   Version Control

Work on a project with poor version control, agile or waterfall, and the frustrations, anxiety and explosion of grey hairs appear with uncontrolled ferocious rapidity. The same warning applies to Configuration management.

Working quickly also means working smartly and if your team hack away at code then launch it indiscriminately at your stylishly waiting servers your project is building looming catastrophes. Poorly applied or missing version control causes a solution to become unstable and the outcomes of operating the solution are unexpected, often random and incorrect. Furthermore if code branching has been performed and code branches are lost or erroneously overwritten then functionality developed within that branch is very likely lost or missing.

The lack of version control or poor version control introduces a damaging uncertainty and ambiguity to the project as well as extra work to repair it. Code and versioning mistakes need backing out and revisions to code development need applying in careful steps. This is laborious error-prone work itself.

The experience of conflicting unexpected results on top of demands for extra endeavour to overcome wasted work disheartens team members and destroys any confidence a team had in its capability to deliver. This threatens your project success and the extra work it develops causes undue pressure on the original estimates, the time left to deliver and the cost of the overall project. So it is important we get version control installed, and installed correctly. Furthermore, it is vital that you define clear team usage guidelines including the naming standards for release names or revision tags, minor and major number of release versions and so on.

Version control is a challenge for all projects but on an agile project it is a greater challenge. You are building faster and releasing more frequently, so the versioning events occur more often and the space between them is diminished. Mistakes occur but in the agile development scenarios the mistakes have a snowball effect on the current release and the next release and so on.

A policy to allow you to version efficiently and cover the rapidity of agile releasing as well as allowing you to deploy your releases at any time is an important added guideline. Whilst we advocate no specific version control solutions we recommend that the due diligence in selecting a source control tool is strongly influenced by selecting very widely used and stable mature products especially those in Open Source software communities. The web is covered with open source and much more costly software solutions. For now, Let us have a look at code development using branching.


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