Choosing between Git and Subversion : How does the choice affect software developers?

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för programvaruteknik; Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för programvaruteknik

Abstract: Today a lot of software projects are using version control systems for maintaining their software source code. There are a lot of version control systems, and the choice of which one to choose is far from simple. Today the two biggest version control systems are Git and Subversion. In this paper we have found the main differences between the two, and investigated how the choice between them affects software developers. Although software developers in many aspects are unaffected by the choice, we did find some interesting findings. When using Git, our empirical study shows that software developers seem to check in their code to the main repository more frequently than they do when using Subversion. We also found indications that software developers tend to use Subversion with a graphical interface, whereas the preferred interface for working with Git seems to be command-line. We were also surprised of how insignificant the learning aspect of the systems seems to be for the developers. Our goal with this paper is to provide a foundation to stand upon when choosing what version control system to use for a software project.

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