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Discussion on: How did software teams handle version control before version control tools? Did distributed development exist back then?

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Joseph Moore

Where I work, there's still a large 1990's era monolith written in C (not even C++) powering some core systems (identity, access management, etc). Developers SSH into the server where all of the source files are and fire up Vim to modify files. Conflicts are prevented thanks to Vim lock files. Once a week, somebody compiles the whole tree and the resulting CGIs get moved to the production server.

The crazy thing is, it all works surprisingly well. Doesn't mean that we're not actively trying to modernize it all, though, especially since the developers who really know their way around the thing are all getting close to retirement.