28 April 2009

Nice benefits of git

I use git now and it saved my bacon last week. Two things made a really hard, late-breaking change possible:
  1. Ease of integration enabled parallel development.
  2. Smallness of commits meant easy bug isolation.
Ease of Integegration => Parallel Development
Because of the ease of integrating small commits, my coding companion and I were able to develop two complementary sets of changes in parallel. This saved us quite a bit of time because we didn't have to wait for each other. The changes were developed as a last-minute response to a problem right before release, and without the ease of integration, it would have been hard to get the problem right on a compressed schedule.

Small Commits => Easy Bug Isolation
Also, because commits are so small (because it's easy to commit without any side-effects, because your repo is isolated from everything else), it was easy to isolate the exact changes that caused a subtle problem. I could have used bisect, but I had an inkling which change caused it, so that was faster. With svn or a mongo patch accrued over multiple changes, it would have been much more confusing and disorienting.

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