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What is version control?

Aaron Xie

Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

Version control is a management system that allows you to record and track changes in your source code and files so that you can recall certain versions later. It’s like a Google Doc for programming, where you can collaborate with multiple people working on the same code and see the source code’s history.

Ultimately, using a version control system allows teams to streamline their development process, which improves their overall efficiency.

Why is it useful?

Tracking: Say you are working on a web application, and one day, you find that your code changes have broken parts of the website. Instead of going through the trouble of finding the bug, you can revert your changes and see what lines of code are causing the problem.

Teamwork: Without a version control system, it’s challenging to work on the same source code at once. By using something like Git, you can more easily merge changes, which makes it significantly easier to collaborate on projects.

Branches: Say you are working on the footer and header of your website without using a version control system. You’ve finished the header, but not the footer, which means that the project isn’t ready to be public. With a version control system, you can create branches for different aspects of the project you are working on and merge them into​ the main source code when you are done.

Git is a popular version control system. Want to read more about it? Check out our What is Git? article.

Why should I learn version control?

Due to how useful version control is, it’s almost always a requirement for any developer or engineering job. As you become more accustomed to using a version control system, you will realize how powerful and easy it is to use.

Popular version control systems

  • Github

  • GitLab

  • Beanstalk

  • PerForce

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version control
developer
branching

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Aaron Xie
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Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

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