I started using Github now that I'm working on a project with some guys. And I started to wonder if I should use it in my personal projects too. I'm not sure if this will help me in some way or if it is unnecesary?

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    git does not require you to use git hub. – Martin York Oct 24 '11 at 17:53
  • Some hosting companies will provide source repositories as part of the package. I use my Dreamhost SVN repository for personal projects. – Jeremy Oct 24 '11 at 18:06
  • 1. In any case use some VCS. 2. Use git for your personal projects when you anyway use git otherwise. 3. You may want to use GitHub as a sort of backup or for publishing your work in case it's open source. – maaartinus Oct 25 '11 at 1:01

There's a distinct difference between using GitHub and using {your favorite version control software}.

If you're working on a project, it should be under some kind of version control somewhere, preferably off your local machine, so it's stored in two places should something happen to one machine. Putting your code on a site like GitHub (or SourceForge or BitBucket or Google Code...) helps you maintain these backups and version control repositories, but you need to balance that with the licensing and visibility (an example being Google Code, which requires an open-source license).

  • My project is a website (a Wordpress forum). I've never used any kind of version control software. Is this a very bad practice for developing a website? – janoChen Oct 24 '11 at 15:26
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    It's bad practice for any kind of software project. – World Engineer Oct 24 '11 at 15:37
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    It's bad practice for any kind of project. – maaartinus Oct 25 '11 at 0:56
  • @maaartinus - I think we should keep it "software projects" for now. – Rook Oct 25 '11 at 1:27
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    It should be noted that GitHub allows you to have private projects if you purchase a plan (they're pretty cheap), so the visibility and licensing caveat is only in play if you're looking for free solutions. – VirtuosiMedia Oct 25 '11 at 7:47

I use BitBucket for my personal projects but any other online source control can work for you.

This way I'm sure that I always have a backup of my projects. Plus, it's free so why wouldn't you use some form of Source Control?

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    It's free for PRIVATE repositories which is huge and why I like BitBucket. (I know you mentioned that it is free, I wanted to emphasize that you don't need a public repository to use it free) – Rangoric Oct 24 '11 at 16:36
  • Yes, that's even better. I just put my projects as private but if I want to share them it's easy to do so. – Carra Oct 25 '11 at 8:05

You don't necessarily need to use github. But I would definitely advise you use some sort of version control. Use git if you think you might want to use github in the future, which will make thing easier when you do.

Version control really helps you when you need to debug something or want to develop a feature in a different direction. If anything at all see it as a global undo feature in case something goes wrong ;)


As has been stated before, using git does not require using Github. Are you using git itself for your personal project(s)? If not, as has been stated already numerous times, I would strongly urge checking out some sort of version control package. If you don't like the syntax of Git, try Mercurial or even SVN.

The advantage of Github and similar sites, beyond version control and the already-mentioned advantage of it acting as a stable backup, is the social aspect. Unless your project is entirely closed-source, the very definition of open-source implies that you want to make your code available for others to read. If you do have an open-source project, why would you want to hide it?

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