When I started using git a few years ago, I admit I was put off by having to go to the command line. I don’t mind the command line, but certainly I prefer a GUI when I have a choice. So being able to find a good GUI app for git was satisfied by SourceTree.
Of course, a huge appeal of SourceTree was that it was free. But free tools that suck are still tools that suck, and thankfully SourceTree doesn’t suck. 🙂 Another appeal is that the parent company, Atlassian, is one I’ve come to like. I like the products they put out, and I like the things they do. Yes, Confluence took a bit to wrap my head around, but all in all I do enjoy their tool suite.
What really helps as well is that they listen! Alas, over the past some whiles, it feels like the QA on SourceTree has slipped. I mean, it’s kinda become a rule for me to never get the x.y.0 release, because there’s going to be a x.y.0.1 hotfix or a full x.y.1 update within a couple of days. It’s unfortunate that’s the case, but it’s held true. The thing is, Atlassian does listen and pay attention. File bugs, they respond to them. File feature requests, and they get to them. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that software development isn’t perfect, and a sufficiently complex enough app like SourceTree is going to have challenges and sometimes things will slip through. It happens to us all, and what reflects on you more is how you handle the problems. I think Atlassian does a good job of being responsive and handling their problems, instead of ignoring or being a big black hole about things. I appreciate that, and it’s a big reason I’m able to stick with SourceTree regardless of the bumps along the road.
What I find useful about a GUI app like SourceTree is that it’s still a git client, it still understands the paradigms, it doesn’t try to redefine the workflow. But yet, it provides it in a logical and easy-to-use manner — tho, that’s provided you understand git itself, which does take a little time to wrap your head around. I think one thing I greatly appreciate is the ability to visualize my commit history and easily trace and track what’s going on — very important on larger and multi-person projects.
Speaking of workflow, one thing I’ve come to embrace is the integrated support for the git-flow workflow. This has become my main workflow model, and that it’s built into SourceTree (tho you don’t have to use it), is a big win. Just a couple clicks here and there and it does all the work for you. Quite nice.
So if you use git (or Mercurial), give SourceTree a look.
I have no affiliation with Alassian or SourceTree. I’m just a happy user.