Source control is not just for software engineers. Using the tools that coders have written to support their work can make a computational biologist’s life massively easier. You’ll find that having a versioned, trackable backup of your analytic scripts is a lifesaver, over and over again.
- Backups. If you are checking code into a get repository, you have at least one other location for your code. Dropping your laptop into the river doesn’t *have* to be a disaster.
- Collaboration. Working with other people is hard enough without stepping on each other ‘s toes while making edits. Git’s merging capabilities are excellent, and will help you figure out who did what, when, and whose changes should remain in the final document.
- Reproducibility. When you look back at that analysis you did last year, do you know what code you used to run it? Git does. Just ask it! Then you can tell your boss why your results are different from last time.
We’re probably preaching to the choir here, but I wanted to make sure everyone had at least heard the gospel.