As well as the traditional 24-hour clock, I’ve found myself becoming aware of other timekeeping forms of late. Each trip to my hairdresser brings the senses of hearing my barber’s familiar voice, the feeling of my hair being chopped and the ongoing staring match with the gentleman ahead. All these feed into another tick, another iteration, another fixed aspect to my general routine.
Having embarked on the Makers Academy adventure, I’ve already seen notes which have a timekeeping feel. There are certain words which continue to appear in my maturing lines of code, but it is the process of committing files which — like going to the hairdressers or the sun setting — now has a familiar ring.
Whether it be building a student directory or tackling some challenges on Codewars, each milestone is tracked through a version-control system. In the shape of GitHub, this is almost like saving a Word doc. No matter the problem you’re facing, the process is simple: add, commit and push to the repository.
So far, this has been effective for capturing a project’s state in a particular moment and offering a route back with ease. However, arguably the most effective benefit is having a platform which allows all to sing from the same hymn sheet. Its open-source nature makes it incredibly effective for developers to cooperate — whether they be in east or west London to Beijing or Leeds. Once invited to a GitHub repo, a developer can add commits to a clone and co-author a project.
Comparing a trip to the hairdresser and pushing to a version-control system might seem quite a stretch, but both have a feel of “oh, here again.” The latter, I’ve found, gives a reference to tracking the rate one writes code. At times, the number of commits may be less due to a programmer spending a moment plotting. And then, they could be in the process of refactoring and the rate of commits occurs at a greater rate due to an eagle eye on their functional code. I do have my doubts that this will catch on as a way to keep track of time, however it is a nice way to show progress.