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SimplyPHP’s Approach to Version Control

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SimplyPHP PHP Staffing Solutions

Recently, we’ve been reflecting on the practices that we’ve used to build a thoughtful, intentional, and more successful business. We’ve always been passionate about offering our developers a workplace where they can grow their skills in a supportive environment, and have used a variety of methods to foster this development. However, it wasn’t until we were exposed to the phrase ‘centre of excellence’ that we began to realize there was a common thread linking all our practices. 

From hiring and personnel management to technical concepts like version control, everything that we do is designed to make our developers’ lives easier. We believe that nurturing our developers is the best way to serve our clients, because without institutional and peer support, mentorship, and resources, developers cannot perform their best work. That’s why we’re so passionate about our centre of excellence framework.  

Understanding the SimplyPHP Centre of Excellence Framework

If you want to understand more about what a centre of excellence is, check out our recent article here

Essentially, a centre of excellence is an organization or facility dedicated to pursuing excellence in a specific area. You can find centres of excellence all over the world, dedicated to focus areas like aviation, climate change, math and science, women’s health, or even something as broad as children and families. Within a centre of excellence, every available resource is dedicated to supporting that institution’s goal.   

At SimplyPHP, our goal is to support our developers. The centre of excellence framework we’ve developed puts them in the centre of six unique pillars of support. These pillars are: 

  • Project Management
  • Resource Backup
  • Best Practices
  • Peer Support
  • AWS Architecture Support
  • Industry-Standard Version Control 

Today, we’ll introduce our approach to version control and show how it contributes to a more supportive and productive environment for our developers. 

Our Approach to Version Control

We haven’t always been as stringent about our version control practices at SimplyPHP. Before COVID, when we were all working from the office together, our company leadership was more tolerant of our developers practicing their own version control habits. 

Now, we’re all working independently from home, and it didn’t take long for us to realize that if we continued to tolerate negligent or loose version control habits, it would negatively affect not only our developers but the work that we offer our clients. 

Here are some of the version control best practices that we adopted.

  • Avoiding partial or incomplete commits
  • Committing files with a single purpose, to make redoing a change simpler
  • Writing detailed commit messages
  • Doing reviews before committing a shared repository
  • Ensuring traceability in every commit

The Benefits of Better Version Control

Once we determined the version control best practices that we wanted to follow as a company, we used tools like peer support and code review to help teach them to every member of our team. By treating it as a collective learning and improvement experience, we made sure that every developer was on board. 

Additionally, we’ve made sure that our clients are working with a minimum of version control as well. Several years ago, we weren’t as stringent about this requirement when taking on new clients. As a result, we had several situations where the lack of version control ended up costing our developers time after their work was lost or had to be redone. Insisting on our best practices for version control with every client helps us mitigate risk, and shows both our clients and developers that we care about their work.   

What are your personal best practices when it comes to version control? You can let us know on social media, or by submitting a comment on our website.