January 3, 2014

What's Your New Year's Resolution?

Version Control

2014 resolutions

For many of us, the New Year brings with it a set of resolutions: those promises we make to ourselves at the start of every year in the hopes of making the new year better than the last. The standards like eating less and saving more are well worn, so here are a few potential resolutions for those of us in the software world.

  • Submit/push more frequently - it doesn't matter if you use Perforce or Git, you probably could stand to share your work more often. It feels good to run off in a corner and work on something till it's perfect, but the resulting merges are rarely fun and your co-workers would probably like to see what you're working on. You also frequently miss out on feedback from your functional automated tests.

    Committing more of your work in progress also lets you use your version control system to help explore solutions. If you're living la vida Git you probably commit locally on a regular basis to checkpoint your progress, but I find Perforce users tend to commit less frequently since their work in progress changes are globally visible.

    But Perforce users can have local commits and local branches too with P4Sandbox! If you haven't tried it grab a copy and take it for a spin. You can submit and branch locally to your heart's content and share your changes via submits or shelves. I think you'll find it freeing.

  • Automate that thing - you know that thing I'm talking about. We all have that thing. It's that task that is extremely annoying, but is just easy enough to do manually that you can't quite justify the time it would take to automate it. Do it. Take the half day and just knock it out. The productivity gain you'll have from getting rid of that aggravating task will more than make up for the time you spend on it. Automate all those things and you’ll be happier and more productive.

  • Give back to the open source - I think it’s safe to say that the majority of developers are reliant on at least one piece of open source software. In fact, it's hard to imagine being a software developer without access to great tools that developers build and share freely. There's no doubt that corporate sponsorship plays a role in the success of many popular open source projects, but many projects rely on the blood, sweat, and tears of countless volunteers.

My personal resolution is to give back more to the projects I consume. I figure even a couple hours a month spent trying to reproduce gnarly bugs will help to push the projects forward.

What's your development resolution for the year? Share with us on Google+.