Using Git for Research

Jason Adams has a blog post titled 10 Reasons to Use Git for Research. Know anyone working in an academic settings? They may want to check it out.

Academic settings impose different constraints on code base management. The goal is usually less about code quality and more about exploring possibilities. Academic code is often quite shitty, hacked together by some grad student(s), with dozens of false starts and changes in requirements. Trying to recreate previous experiments is often very difficult unless the grad student made previsions for such rollbacks. And if they have, it’s probably done in a way that seemed logical to the grad student at the time but is a nightmare for someone new to the project. There are ways to avoid this, by placing more of an emphasis on software engineering, but sometimes projects are so small or short-lived that it doesn’t seem feasible to trouble with that at first. And if you don’t even have a clear picture of where you are heading, it might not even be possible (though you are probably doomed to many problems in that case).


To help combat these issues, I will contend that every academic software project must use version control. Git makes that easy and here’s why.

Have feedback on this post? Let @github know on Twitter.
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