What makes Git useful to a developer?


#1

Question

What makes this tool, Git, useful to the typical software developer? Why would I need this in my day-to-day work?

Answer

When I think of Git, a few key things come to mind:

  1. Peace of mind. I know that when I use Git, I have a history of changes I’ve made to my work, and I know I can access those old versions whenever I need to. So if I break something by trying to add some new feature, I can simply revert to an older, working version of the code.
  2. Collaboration. Working on a team with other developers means, at least in part, knowing how to use Git. It allows you to work on the same project at the same time and not interfere with each other’s work. This is possible because of branching, which you’ll learn about soon.
  3. Production. When you’re developing any non-trivial product, you’ll likely have a production version that is available to your end users, and versions that aren’t. The versions that aren’t are where you’re testing new features, working out bugs, and making improvements to existing code. This is all made possible, or at least much easier, through Git.
  4. Blame. Git keeps track of who wrote what and made what changes in a project. This is called blame, and it’s not a bad thing like it might sound. It can be very useful to know who worked on a piece of code so you know who to talk to about it if it needs changing or if you’re curious about how it works.
  5. Ubiquity. Git is used practically everywhere today, and for good reason! It saves a lot of headache in the development cycle, and has become a part of almost every developer’s toolkit.

There are a lot of other reasons to learn and love Git, but that comes with experience. Happy learning!