Reflections on Subversion & Git Live 2014

Yesterday marked the conclusion of this year’s Subversion & Git Live conference tour through New York and San Francisco. This was also WANdisco’s second conference with the DVCS Git under our wing.

Growing Git Sophistication

Last fall for Subversion & Git Live 2013 we targeted Git materials at an introductory level. This turned out to be about exactly right, as our attendees were as novice as they were enthusiastic about the disruptive and beneficial effects of Git in their environments. This year, not only were virtually all attendees familiar with Git, they were also markedly more comfortable with it and the resulting impact on their development organizations.

Where a common question last year was “I’ve heard of Git and I’d like to learn something about it”, this year it was more likely to be “I have Git in my environment and what do you recommend for supporting it successfully.” Followup questions were more likely to be about specific tool stacks that could be deployed this year.

Strength of Subversion

All of this hot discussion played out against the backdrop of the enterprise workhorse of Subversion. Significant improvements in speed and scalability are part of the roadmap in 2013-2014, but there were also more ambitious discussions about assimilating more functionality from DVCS’s like Git, and even ground up designs for a new merge engine with move as a first class operation. I’ve rarely seen WANdisco’s Subversion committers more engaged; fortunately WANdisco’s long resume of large customers means easy access to real world use cases for complex enterprise software development.

What I see ahead

One change observed at this conference was an acceleration to end-of-life expensive, legacy commercial products, ClearCase the easy target here. The relevance of newer commercial SCM systems outside niche industries continues to decline as SCM and version control commoditizes around open source. Despite significant challenges for creating enterprise class deployments, Git seems an unstoppable force as a developer productivity and talent attraction tool. WANdisco plays a significant role here, leapfrogging the ubiquitous Web UI paradigm around self-provisioning of repos and engineering a world-scale, foundational backbone for Git.

It was a great conference, and we hope to see you next year!

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