A Branch in Time (a story about revision histories)

I wanted to give a talk that illustrated why taking care over revision histories is important for the maintainability of our software whilst demonstrating the Git techniques we can use to to both understand our code better, and make it more maintainable for the future. I gave this talk at Brighton Ruby, and RubyConf USA in 2018, and RubyConf AU in 2019.

Talk abstract

In one timeline, a quick path to clarity. In the other, a long and painful journey trying to understand the obscure intent of a line of code. The only difference between the two realities? The revision history…

This is a story about writing maintainable software. But rather than the code itself, we’ll see how a well-crafted revision history is as important to maintainability as choosing the right abstraction. We’ll explore the differences between a useful history and an unhelpful one. And you’ll learn about the practices, tools and techniques that help make the difference.


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