One of the more enjoyable tasks we get to perform is developing code that supports the various systems and IT infrastructure of the university. One of the newer and more valuable tools in our coding tool kit is a product called “GitHub.” GitHub allows us to develop code in versioned sets so that we can create, track, and maintain our unique university code.
What is version control?
Version control systems are software tools that help software teams manage changes to source code. Modifications to source code are tracked, and prior versions of the code are retained. If a mistake is made, developers can “turn back the clock” and compare earlier versions of the code to help fix the mistake while minimizing disruption to all team members and users.
Version control at UT
UT Austin has been using a version control system called UTForge, which uses Subversion. Over time, Subversion became unsupported and some security risks were identified with the solution; so, UT needed a new approach to version control.
In August of 2016, the university went live with a new version control system called GitHub, which uses Git for version control. The selection was made by the developer community as part of the Administrative Systems Modernization Program (ASMP).
With GitHub available, technical staff in colleges, schools, and units (CSUs) were asked to start migrating their source code from the legacy UTForge solution to GitHub. To assist with this migration, ITS Applications created a wiki, assigned a project manager and engineer to assist with questions, created scripts, created tutorials, and even created an online class to help CSUs with the migration.
As of year end 2017, the migration to GitHub has been very successful; the current number of active repositories in GitHub has now exceeded that in the legacy UTForge system. Check the chart below.
With help and guidance from the Middleware Customer Steering Committee and the Administrative IT Leaders (AITL), an 8/1/2018 date has been set for all CSUs to complete the migration to GitHub.
Thank you to the GitHub team and for this accomplishment!