Containing Entropy

Every so often, your programmers are going to run into a brick wall. For some reason the program won't accept the next increment, and no one can figure out why. They then have to go back to the previous version. In the course of a program this may happen several or many times.

To avoid getting hopelessly confused, you should have some decent version control software. It stores old copies, indexes changes, and tracks who did what and when. This electronic librarian allows you to screen an earlier version of a program to compare differences between one cut and the next. It's particularly handy when you can't pinpoint what has made your program go ape.

The simplest version control programs just store and manage a sequence of charged files. The more sophisticated ones allow for coding concurrent changes, automate the build assembly, enforce regression testing, and can even create and compile the final product. Whatever level of complexity you need, don't code without installing version control software; and make sure your subcontractors and telecommuters have a compatible version.

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