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Version control for independent developers?

I work as a Junior Programmer in a team of 1. I am looking for suggestions of what open source/free Project Management(I cant remember the correct term?) programs, ie things like Github would be suitable for my & the companies needs.

I create websites using just javascript, HTML & CSS, I create cross platform mobile applications using Mosync C++ API & I create Facebook iFrame apps using HTML, javascript, css & their Graph API.

The boss is really not willing to purchase a subscription from a "Project Management Program"(BTW whats the correct term?) so I would be looking for a free service. I currently use DropBox because it allows me to work from anywhere & gives a limited ability to go back to an older version of a file but I have found that I have made a change in a project & it broke something else so I needed to go back to the old version of a file & it was not there in dropbox(maybe they only keep the last version before a save).

If you were on a team of one do you think it would be necessary to even use this? And if yes, what service would you use?


3 Answers 3


My short answer: Yes!

Do a bit management, play around with agile, get into each pitfall. For the management, including tickets, wiki, agile, time logging etc, I recommend Redmine as it is free.

For versioning: I do only little tests (less than 100 lines) without git/svn. Everything else should be versioned as can step back when you programmed a mess that can't be undone easily. Also you can check for changes that introduced a bug you didn't have had before. Github is a good service, but I am not sure if non public gits are free.

  • projectlocker.com project locker has free private projects. Could help you out. This said... project management is good only if your boss also uses it, but versionning is definitely a must.
    – Newtopian
    Sep 15, 2011 at 9:36
  • You could break the management down to personal management. Have some friends who use redmine/trac for private todo management and the wiki for their private knowledgebase. Both statements are valid so it is up to his mind if he needs a tool for self organizing or not. Sep 15, 2011 at 9:47
  • true, true, perhaps I was a tad bit too categorical here .^_^'. cant edit it any-more but I would change "is good only" to "works better"
    – Newtopian
    Sep 15, 2011 at 10:50

You need to retrieve old versions of your files: you definitely need a version control system. This is not the aim of Dropbox.

You also need to access your files from wherever you happen to be. You need either a cloud storage or a USB device.

github and others provide both but their free flavour often is reserved for open-source projects. If you are ok with that, go for github.

The alternative is a svn/git/whatever local repository put on a USB thumb drive.


Do not ever do any development without version control. Seriously.

Even if you're just running git locally, without any server, it's still infinitely better than no version control at all. Just the ability to look back through changes, revert where necessary, see when/why you made a particular change... all this is invaluable.

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