How do many programmers work together on the same project?
Multiple programmers work together by using team management tools and version control systems like Git (distributed), Mercurial (distributed), and Subversion (centralized). There is a variation in how tasks are assigned and executed depending on the size of the project, the type, and the company.
If you are a developer who has never worked with other programmers on the same project and you are wondering how multiple programmers can work together, this article will explore exactly how that is done.
I have worked with other programmers on a web development project and I have learned a number of things that goes into the process of working together. The actual process may be different from one company to the other but the underlying principle is the same.
When many programmers are working on one codebase, there will always be interference and code merge conflicts. In light of this, there are a lot of approaches taken by product managers or team leaders to help multiple programmers code together without code merge conflicts.
Here are some of the ways that help multiple programmers to work together.
VERSION CONTROL SYSTEM
Version control which is also known as source control or revision control is the practice of tracking and managing modifications to software code. A version control system is a software tool that helps software development teams to manage changes to source code over time.
Version control systems help multiple developers to contribute to one project and to keep track of different versions of the project. If there is a problem with the current build or something goes wrong, developers can revert to a previous version to help them fix the problem.
The entire project can be divided into small tasks that each programmer can work on. This can be working on a Navbar, the footer, or the entire home page. Once they are done and have tested it thoroughly, they can submit their task to be in sync with the whole project using version control systems.
This is one of the most common approaches, each programmer is able to build the entire project on their own development machine without affecting other developers. When changes have been made to the master file, each programmer is updated and the cycle continues.
The key thing about working with multiple programmers is clear and constant communication, each developer must clearly understand what their role is and when their task should be completed.
Another great way of working together is using small modules, similar to the first one, the entire codebase is split into modules and each developer is assigned a single module to work with. These modules can communicate with each other using APIs.
These modules must be able to work even if other modules in the project are not working. Since modules tend to interact, the programmers should clearly define the specifications of the module and the services it provides. This approach makes it easy to work together and troubleshoot.
Pair programming is an agile software development technique where two programmers work together on one computer or workstation. It consists of the driver – the one who writes the code and the observer – the one who reviews the code. These programmers can exchange the driver-observer role as they wish.
Pair programming helps developers to implement the best practices, improve their communication skills, learn from each other and write code with fewer defects. Due to the difference in their experience, programmers will each bring a unique test to the task which allows for diversity.
There are three common variations of pair programming that help companies achieve different tasks, these are:
- Expert – Expert: A common approach for productivity and faster results.
- Expert – Novice: An opportunity for learning and mentorship while working on a project.
- Novice – Novice: An opportunity to help each other learn while working on a project. This is the most uncommon practice and the most unproductive.
VISUAL STUDIO LIVE SHARE
The other way that multiple programmers work together is by using Visual Studio Live Share which was developed by Microsoft. Live share helps programmers to collaborate, edit, debug, make voice calls, share the terminal with other developers in real-time, etc.
Whether you are building a web app, mobile app, or any software in any programming language, you can develop it together with other developers in real-time. You can start a joint debugging session, forward your localhost web apps for other developers to analyze, and more.
Visual Studio Live Share is great a collaboration software for programmers, it is available for Microsoft Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code for free.
If you want to be a developer for all Apple platforms, you will be using Xcode to develop applications. Xcode has powerful new team development features, that allow you to initiate, review, comment, and merge pull requests directly within Xcode.
Using Xcode Cloud, you can see your teammates’ comments right inside your code, and quickly compare any two versions of your code files. This makes working with many programmers easy.
Other platforms commonly used by programmers to work together include Teletype for Atom, AWS Cloud 9, Codeshare, Floobits, Monday.com, etc.
Multiple programmers are able to work together on the same project thanks to Version Control Systems like Git and many other collaboration software like Visual Studio Live Share. Programmers can also split their tasks into modules that can communicate with other modules developed by other developers.
In order to work together efficiently, programmers must clearly understand the tasks assigned to them and must be able to communicate clearly with other developers. Constant communication is important to increase productivity and reduce conflicts.