What is Version Control

A version control system is a tool to help developers manage changes made to files and directories.

There are multiple version control systems, but in this series we will mostly focus on Git.

What is Version Control?

Version control, also known as source control, is used to maintain multiple versions of source code.

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This helps to keep track of changes to the source code over time. It also helps to do more that. Version control can be used to collaborate with others, but also for deploy source code from your local machines to some staging server, then to some testing server and ultimately to production.

It is an integral tool that also lets you deploy your code to the cloud.

What Can You Do with Version Control

There are multiple things that version control can help with to simplify the software development workflow.

  1. Make Backups. Save work progress as you go along.
  2. Keep an History. Compare a version of the project to the version that you are building
  3. View Changes. View exactly what was changed to a project, line-by-line.
  4. Collaborate. Version control allow user to work at the same time on a same project while making it hard to overwrite each other’s work.

Advantages of Version Control

There are many advantages to using version control in web development.

  • Nothing is lost: Anything that is saved to Git is stored in a way that it is never lost
  • Easy to go back in history: Git stores an history of changes with the possibility to go back to whatever version
  • Harder to overwrite work done: Git integrates a system that automatically notifies you when your work is in conflict with someone else’s.
  • Easy to scale the work done: Git synchronizes work done by teams in a way that makes it easy to scale.

Who Uses Version Control?

  • DevOps teams
  • Software teams
  • Engineering teams
  • Data Science teams
  • other tech-savvy individuals

Categories of Version Control Systems

There are two main categories of version control systems: centralized and distributed.

Centralized Version Control Systems (CVCS)

In Centralized Version Control Systems, an entire project is stored in a single central server.

Each user gets the code from the master repository or server and sends its changes to the central copy. For every change, it requires a connection with the server.

The centralized version control is easier to learn than the distributed version control.

Distributed Version Control Systems (DVCS)

In distributed version control systems, the mechanisms are similar to that of centralized.

The major difference is that, instead of one single repository which is the server, here every single developer has a copy of the entire history in their local computer.

Although more complex, distributed version control systems are much faster, not relying on the network performance, and allow offline access.

Other Version Control with Git and Github Posts

Learn Git and Github (Complete Guide)
Get Started With Github

How to Use Git and Github with VSCode

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