If you're working with Git in development, then you've probably seen a lot of command line. While using the command line is a simple and effective way of working, there are some much better tools out there to make working with Git easy.
One such tool is SourceTree, a free Git client for Windows or Mac. It provides an nice visual interface between you and Git, no more command line!
No more command line! Image credit - gifavs.com
Why use SourceTree?
SourceTree has some great features that make working with Git easy, streamlining the way that you work with your project code.
So, here are my top 5 reasons to start using it!....
1. Branch management
Managing branches in Sourcetree is easy. It enables you to switch working copies with a single click. It also tells you how far ahead or behind you are to the version in the repository, and alerts you to push or pull.
Know where you are with visual branch management
2. Working copy
Using the command line can sometimes feel like you are working in the dark. The 'Working Copy' section shows the difference between your local copy and the version in the Git repository. This gives you a 'real time' view of your local files, so you can see exactly what you have changed.
See your local changes as you go
3. Branch history
A huge part of the SourceTree interface is the History. This section displays the full history of the current branch. Each commit and file change is displayed and accessible, providing a very powerful tool for version control. This alone is a huge benefit for projects which are worked on regularly by multiple developers.
View a full history of your current branch, beautiful.
One feature we make use of here at Sagittarius is GitFlow. Having 6+ developers working on one set of code at once can get complicated. GitFlow adds a structured process to your workflow, which ensures that parallel code changes are completed without many hiccups, and it's a two click setup! We have seen a huge reduction in merge conflicts thanks to GitFlow
GitFlow process. Image credit - Atlassian
5. It's free
It doesn't cost a thing to download or use SourceTree, great huh!?
The key benefit to Sourcetree is the visualization of the Git process. It can feel daunting when you're using the command line, as you have a limited view of what's happening behind the scenes. Managing large projects with mutiple branches, commits and developers can get messy. SourceTree can make the whole process more managable. It can be downloaded for free. Why not give it a go?