Category Archives: Software Development

Time travel and parallel universes

Suppose you’re working on a software project and you’ve tagged your release 0.1.0. It has been shipped and now you’re working on version 1.0.0. You’re reworking quite a lot. It’s a major release after all, a lot to be done 🙂

In comes someone who sees version 0.1.0 and thinks to him/herself: “Oooh, can you maybe add some functionality on top of that? I don’t want to wait for 1.0.0, that takes too long.”

Although the ‘building a house’ metaphor is a strained one when it comes to software, it can be used to abstract away from the nitty gritty detail of software development and describe things like project management and development strategies. Today, let’s discover some of the superpowers we have in software-land, and what their limitations are. And let’s use our superpowers to build a house 😉

Version control, especially Git, grants you the powers to:

  • work in parallel universes (branch)
  • go back in time (branch from older release or commit in the past)
  • automatically replay anything you did in a parallel universe in another parallel universe (merge or rebase)

This is convenient when we’re doing things that are unrelated. Two developers could branch from trunk (or master or main stream) and work in their own branches quite comfortably, as long as they don’t do conflicting things in the code base. Or, to strain the house metaphor to its breaking point: Someone could be installing a new kitchen while another team replaces the roof.

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