Why you should NOT use source control software

If you are just starting out as a software developer, you may have been advised to use source control software.

I think it may help you long term if at first you don’t .

At this point in your coding career, you do not really know the benefits of source control but you probably think it has something to do with keeping backups. Backups are easy though aren’t they? You probably already take a backup of your work once a week and store it somewhere safe, such as on an encrypted USB drive or in your Gmail inbox.

I agree, this is an excellent strategy for a new programmer.

The great part of this strategy is that it when something unexpected happens, such as your code stops working for no reason, and you find you have no way to get it running again without restoring to a previous backup and losing a weeks work, only then will you truly appreciate how a source control system benefits developers and could have averted the disaster you have just witnessed.

Once you have recovered from this catastrophe, you should read the Wikipedia entry for Source Control, read Eric Sinks Source Control Howto article and get the last word from Jeff Atwood about not using Visual SourceSafe.

Of course, you could skip to this final step right away and install source control from the start, but without the catastrophe how will you ever value what a decent source control system does for you?

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