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We have a few team members that have been working at software for a very long time and are not used to the idea of a version control system. These people are fairly good at what they do but can't get past organizing all of their work into files and folders. This wouldn't be so bad if there was at least some sort of naming convention that gave some idea of how the different revisions were organized. Things really got out of hand when we needed to see what was changed from a previous version that caused a problem in a fairly large program.

I tried explaining some of the concepts of revision control but got some push-back... The person who I tried to get to use revision control told me some of the following:

  1. Why should more than one version go in 1 location?
  2. Each version should be a new project.
  3. Each version should be frozen in time so nobody can change it.

I tried arguing #3 that you could protect the revisions in a bare repository (say with Git for example) on a remote drive, but the argument just didn't take... Not really sure how to argue against 1 and 2, that sort of makes sense to me. How can I explain why revision control is a good idea?

I saw the following question, which is sort of related but I can't convince these guys to use any version control system in the first place...

Quantifying the advantages of a modern version control system [closed]

closed as too broad by gnat, Thomas Owens May 2 '17 at 14:54

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Get their questions, build a demo project with some version tagged and so on and answer to their question. – Walfrat May 2 '17 at 14:28
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    Try address the speech to the real and known issues that the company is facing regularly. I would not try to "sell" all the SCM wonders if some of them are not valuable for the company (I can not imagine any). Ok, we know that it's a basic tool. It's a must. It's like explaining to a troglodyte why the fire will make easier his existence, you don't have to "sell" a flamethrower, just a lighter. – Laiv May 2 '17 at 15:03
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    See also stackoverflow.com/questions/1408450/…. And google for "why version control", you will find plenty of good answers. – Doc Brown May 2 '17 at 18:30
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Don't.

It's 2017, if you are working somewhere where they don't use source control get a new job.

If you are in charge, mandate that source control be used.

Trying to justify the use of standard tools or practices somewhere where they are not already adopted is a mugs game. There will be some crazy political reason behind it that you don't want to get involved in.

If you are high up enough, suggest hiring a consultant to advise the company on best practice and then suggest adopting their recommendations.

If you are that consultant, charge a fortune and write a document with quotes and examples from 'cool' companies like facebook and google, but emphasise that everything can be tailored to an individual companies specific needs and don't get into specifics. That way you don't get caught between internal factions and you will get invited back later.

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    Agreed, this is like trying to explain to a haulage company why the internal combustion engine is a good idea when they feel horse and cart still works perfectly well. – Carson63000 May 3 '17 at 8:13

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