Adding Source Control Into Your Life?

Presentation by: Mark Kelnar

Technical Architect, WP Engine

I’m excited to be coming to meet with you all in Phoenix this year! WordCamps are always a blast, and this year I’m particularly excited because I’m on a mission to make version control usage common in the WordPress Community. By the end of 2013, I want developers to feel guilty when they aren’t using version control on their WordPress projects.

My presentation is going to be a technical one that covers how to get started with GIT, a version control system that we use every day at WP Engine. As a developer, I’ve been using version control for years, and GIT is one of the best open-source software solutions for version control.

My presentation will cover setting GIT up for WordPress, how to use github.com to keep track of your projects and collaborate with a team of developers. By the end of the talk, you’ll be familiar with how dozens of files can change on a projec without losing a moment’s sleep.

Using GIT means that peer comments can be discussed, code can be changed and updated, and there will be transparency through the entire process. Then, when all the code is blessed, hopefully unit tested, the code can be merged in with the primary code base. We’ll talk about branching and merging code.

The team I work on peer reviews all of my code changes before they are merged in with the production site. GIT lets us keep one another accountable!

We’ll talk about all this and more, so if you’ve ever wondered about adding GIT or version control to WordPress, but didn’t know where to start, this talk is for you. It’s going to be a bit technical, so if you’re still new to WordPress or to development, you may want to do a bit of research ahead of time because I want to make sure the advanced developers who haven’t used GIT yet walk away with useful information.

All questions will be welcome and encouraged. The more people who attend, the more people we can introduce to version control this year. The goal is to win over your hearts and minds so that you love version control with your entire being, and that you ask it into your WordPress site. Maybe just one site at first, but hopefully all of them soon after.

Of course, there are some people who don’t use version control.

Imagine with me for a moment, a mythical code development world where developers never missed a semi colon, the code compiled the first time, every time, features never had to change, the developer next to you never overwrote any of your changes, and your clients always had an huge budget. All requirements were provided upfront and no one wanted you to work on more than one project at a time. And you worked on a team that could read each others minds. And unicorns. Unicorns brought you an amazing cup of coffee first thing every morning.

If that’s what your day to day looks like, then I’m pretty sure I’ve never worked with you on the same project. And you probably live on a rainbow and ride a dragon named Augustus Ceasar to work.

And you also never need to use Version Control because your project happens perfectly every single time.

The rest of us sometimes forget that semicolon, and make syntax errors every now and then. Your code takes a few iterations, and it sure would be nice for others to be able to look at your code changes. That would help. Quite a lot. Right?

Version control solves a lot of these problems. The code problems, anyways. I’m fresh out of Unicorns AND Dragons.

Version control with GIT provides a place you can store your code to keep it safe, to see when changes happened, to let others see that you’re making changes, and to sleep safely at night knowing there will be no surprises.

GIT will come into your life, riding on a Dragon named Marcus Brutus, and a few additional tools to make building things easier and more efficient. And we’ll cover it all in my WordCamp Phoenix talk. At the end, there will be a command line call, and you’ll know if you’re ready to ask source control into your site.

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