My ‘jump in and sink or swim’ learning style leads me to create dozens of unbillable ‘play’ projects in Visual Studio 2012. For example, I’m currently learning to customize the powerful auction/fixed price/classifieds software called AuctionWorx Enterprise. I make stupid mistakes as I grasp a new API and configure projects. It’s frustrating to go down a rat hole and discover the VS IDE’s Undo doesn’t reach back to a working build from the previous weekend.
Enter Visual Studio’s Free Team Foundation Service. Put your play projects into the free source control and check in (or shelve) a snapshot before embarking on something risky. (I already use Discount ASP.NET’s Team Foundation Server hosting for client projects so there’s zero TFS/VS learning curve for me and first class GUI support.)
TFS is free right now for teams of five or fewer. I’m not naive enough to expect ‘free’ to last forever. So, it’ll be interesting to see how much Microsoft intends to charge in 2013 for TFS. In the meantime, why not grab some free source code storage?
BTW, it’s weird to realize that Microsoft is backing up my junky little playtime code on three physically-distinct servers every day - and taking incremental backups every hour.