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Kelvin Wangonya
Kelvin Wangonya

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How did software teams handle version control before version control tools? Did distributed development exist back then?

Top comments (13)

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Glenn Stovall • Edited on

I worked at an agency where we didn't have version control. Usually, we could isolate projects and parts of work, and check in with each other. (I'll work on the news feed, you work on the profile page).

One time we took a "talking stick" approach with a Koosh ball. If the ball wasn't on your desk, you weren't allowed to update production.

There were lots of bugs and losing work was not uncommon. Wouldn't recommend it.

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Kelvin Wangonya

The "talking stick" approach... nice πŸ˜…

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ADONIS SIMO

for real :-)

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ohffs

We used to post floppy disks with source code on them back and forth in the 80s - version control was 'open the files side-by-side and see what might have changed' ;-) Luckily in those days it tended to be one long huge file so it was easy to spot ;-)

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Quentin Sonrel • Edited on

cp current version_$(date +%Y%m%d%H%M%S) I guess πŸ˜€

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ADONIS SIMO

old sharks !!! #respect

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Joseph Moore

Where I work, there's still a large 1990's era monolith written in C (not even C++) powering some core systems (identity, access management, etc). Developers SSH into the server where all of the source files are and fire up Vim to modify files. Conflicts are prevented thanks to Vim lock files. Once a week, somebody compiles the whole tree and the resulting CGIs get moved to the production server.

The crazy thing is, it all works surprisingly well. Doesn't mean that we're not actively trying to modernize it all, though, especially since the developers who really know their way around the thing are all getting close to retirement.

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Mario DeLaPaz

Working with a department with the state of NJ and we currently don't have version control. We have a shared drive and create a folder πŸ“‚ labeled with the change control number where the copy of the files changed live with documentation.

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Kelvin Wangonya

😳 Why don't you have version control?

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Yaser Al-Najjar

Zip files I guess.

In the ages of assembly, Uncle Bob mentioned that they were printing codes of libraries (packages) on papers and sell them πŸ˜‚

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Mark Gibbons

How far back to you have to go for "before version control tools". We had them in 1978 and I've used them ever since then.

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Kelvin Wangonya

1978? 😳 I don't know, I just assumed version control tools were pretty recent. Maybe my idea of version control tools is just wrong πŸ˜…. How were you doing it back then?

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Mark Gibbons

Panvalet was around in the 70's. Many companies used mainframes and proprietary software. I worked at a small company with 30 folks in IT. A quick web search shows panvalet had more than 3000 customers. CVS was available in the 80's.

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