Wednesday October 9, 2019

For a long, long time, whenever I heard about Git, I associated it with an invention dedicated for programmers and/or app developers. But then I’ve read this article and learned that it may come in handy in case of non-programmers as well - moreover, to a surprising degree. After taking a little bit of research I’ve realized that, indeed, I can definitely benefit from Git. The only concern was that sole association with programming world, which fortunately vanished as soon as I’ve learned that GitHub itself encourages to many other, i.e., non-programming ways of utilizing it.

Soon after I joined creators sharing the notion of Git being great for various creative work (such as novel writing, blogging, or - especially in my case - vocabulary collections development, in case of which it greatly facilitates updating and releasing process).

But, switching to more universal way of perceiving it (i.e., without knowing what Your Own field of expertise is), I was wondering how could I explain the very reason why You Yourself might find Git worth attention. So far the best answer I could give is that:

Git may significantly improve Your creation process. It does that by embracing experiments and trial-and-error approach - without a risk to disrupt Your project’s stable state. This way it gives You such flexibility as never before.

Recall for a moment what You do when You want to try something new within Your current project - and especially what You need to do when something goes wrong. Maybe You stick with simple Ctrl+Z to going backwards through in-app step history - or perhaps You’ve created a copy of Your work before playing around with more serious changes. Those methods, however, either take much time (backup whenever You are in the need to secure the stable state of Your work, let alone to recover it) - or are not so reliable as You’d like them to be (relying on sole Ctrl+Z may often be risky, e.g., some apps won’t provide step history once You save the file; besides, it’s really inconvenient to navigate through Your work progress this way).

Git greatly addresses all those issues.

Once again recall the time You want to introduce some serious changes into the project. You don’t wanna corrupt anything, so... this time, instead of doing the backup or relying on Ctrl+Z, You just save the current state of Your work, as the newest stable “snapshot”. It takes much less time than doing the whole backup (even the differential one, which is less time-consuming). Now You are free to experiment. In case something goes wrong - You can simply go back to the newest stable state any time You want, and all Your project files and folders will be as if nothing happened (!). Sounds interesting?

No backups, no multiple project copies, no more Ctrl+Z’s - just focus on the actual work and no need to worry about Your files anymore.

Although Git gives You much more than that, this one alone I consider the most important and key advantage with which You may enrich Your workflow. If, however, You’d ask what else Git features You might find appealing, I could point out two others: browsing project history and cloud synchronization. Browsing project history gives You a detailed insight on its development through time - You can, for example, easily track how well the work proceeds, or what (when, and why) exactly has been changed. In practice it can save much time - especially in the long run, whenever You need to inspect or revisit a particular project months (or years) since You’ve last dropped it. Cloud synchronization, on the other hand, provides You with flexibility: You can work on multiple devices/locations and always stay up-to-date. Moreover, this feature is much broader than just a synchronization: it incorporates teamwork. In other words, You can easily cooperate with other people, working on the same thing - and, what is the most important, have all the control needed to ensure that everything is taking place seamlessly and with no interferences between all the participants involved.

Besides all of that, Git may give You possibilities which You might not consider before. One “crazy” ;) example is so-called branching, which refers to ability of developing Your project on multiple paralel paths (“branches”). In this approach You can work on several different aspects of Your work independently and, once it’s done, You can assemble the final version of Your project out of the chosen aspects - or even create its multiple different variants made out of various parts. Those kind of scenarios seem to greatly widen possible results of Your creative work.

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