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I'm working on a group project for school, and it's just me and a teammate. Well he is really behind with coding skills, and I was wondering if I should still give him access(email a copy) to the source I've been working on solely. So far he hasn't done anything except a basic TUI. Is it advisable to gently tell him to "catch up" to the coding level first?

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Why aren't you using source control? How do you expect to be up-to-date with each other's changes? –  Bernard Feb 27 '12 at 20:34
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up vote 8 down vote accepted

If you're worried that his code may not pass review (i.e. it won't be an improvement), use distributed version control. That way you can set up multiple branches serving as the equivalent of "pull requests" and decide if and when to merge or cherry-pick. If you don't have a centralized server, you can still email bundles back and forth. These basically work similar to a client-server model, but the transport is email (or sneakernet, etc.).

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Is he making a good-faith effort to get caught up, or is he spending all his time playing videogames?

If the former, it's in both your interests to help him along. It could be he simply needs the perspective of another student; you may explain things to him in a way that makes more sense than your instructor. Also, you never really understand your own code until you explain it to someone else -- I can't tell you how many bugs I uncovered just by describing my code to someone else.

If the latter, well, it's still better to make the effort. Your grade depends on his participation (I'm assuming), so get anything usable you can out of him.

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If it's the latter, then you tell the people who will be doing the marking what's going on! And you do so early. If you wait until the assignment is over, it will be too late. –  user16764 Feb 27 '12 at 23:17
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If you think he can not doing anything with code, it is not a problem! Don't stop sending copy of the project to him, you just keep doing it with this hope maybe he learn something from you! [at least] This is what teammate doing for each-other ! And other thing is yes tell him learn something or as you said

"catch up" to the coding level first

And using VCS tools, my recommendation[highly] is git ;)

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Impement version control. (GIT is nice and free but there are other alternatives). You can then give him read rights. When he is ready you can give him submit rights and will be able to roll back any breaking changes.

How early to give him submit rights is up to you. since its fairly simple to do a diff and/or roll his changes back I would give it to him now. If your worried he may not be careful you could wait a little while till his skills develop though.

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