I recently began work at a small company as a lone software developer. Before I came no true documentation/version control/etc. was in place. The best they have is Microsoft Word documents and Excel spreadsheets to keep track of everything the engineering team produces.

Personally, among other things, I'd like to institute version control for my own sake, but they're extremely hesitant about it.

My question, is version control sane for a lone developer? What are some of the benefits of version control to a lone developer? Also, what are some of the benefits to, say, a 2-3 man team? And, being that it is a private company, would Github or a private Git server be best?

marked as duplicate by gnat, thorsten müller, ozz, EL Yusubov, user7007 Aug 21 '13 at 12:40

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I ran across a similar issue working as a contractor. The IT team had no backup and no idea how to institute something. Rather than regale them with possible doomsday scenarios, I set up a git repository on the machine on which I was working.

When it came time for me to leave, I instructed one of the team members how to access the repo and pointed them to the online doc "Git in a Nutshell". Then I left. I don't know if they continued to use it. However, for the time I was there, all my work was backed up.

  • I've only used none distributed source control (SVN and TFS) and only have a rough idea of how a distributed one like Git works... but if the repo is on the machine you are working on, how does this protect you if your machine fails? Is it externally mirrored as well? – razethestray Aug 21 '13 at 12:42
  • There appear to be many documents under that name. Which "Git in a Nutshell" are you talking about? This could be useful to show the engineering team. – DanteTheEgregore Aug 21 '13 at 12:42
  • @Zach It appears the site I used is no longer available. Bummer. Never fear, this link looks promising. git-scm.com/docs. For backup, I mirrored the repository to my personal laptop. Of course, I got approval to do this so there'd be no hint of impropriety. Businesses are very touchy when it comes to moving their data. If only they'd be that sensitive to backing it up. – Mike S. Aug 23 '13 at 2:00

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