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I've acquired the habit of reading my team's git commit log every morning when I get in to work. For me, it's akin to checking the Facebook newsfeed - it's a way for me to stay attune to what's going on in the project, and to also be aware of there's something I need to update in my part of the app.

It appears I'm alone after asking a few co-workers. Is it a helpful habit or a time sink?

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Your co-workers might feel like their performance/abilities are being measured under a microscope. I work at a place with a lot of git commits. Git encourages very frequent commits. I have read code changes in the past under a different VCS - one that encouraged less frequent and more complete checkins. –  Job Dec 6 '12 at 16:20
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I've done this for years. I skim, and if I see something in an area I'm interested in or responsible for, I dig into it. I've found it to be a very useful habit over the years, though more or less useful at various places of employment based on the breadth of code, rate of commits, and quality of check-in comments. I've caught many bugs or potential integration problems, and also maintained a strong sense of trends and emerging features / problem areas in this way. I would suggest you keep doing it, until such a time as you feel that it doesn't add value for you. –  Ed Hastings Dec 6 '12 at 18:24
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3 Answers

The answer is "it depends."

If you are way up there in the management food chain, this might be a sign of you micromanaging things. You might be getting in the way of your front line managers and your might be missing out on doing your own job.

If you are at the bottom of the food chain, this might be a sign of you overstepping your bounds. If doing this helps you get a handle on doing your own job better, great. On the other hand, what I've seen happen too many times with this kind of behavior is people doing damage to the product as a whole and failing to achieve the tasks assigned to them.

Finally, if you are in that front line management, this is part of your job. It helps you see where the product is heading, see whether you have problems such as thrashing, and determine whether your team can meet deadlines.

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If it improves your productivity, then I would not consider it a time sink.

Just be cautious about how involved you are with others' code.

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I think that it is a helpful habit. You are keeping yourself up-to-date on changes to the code base.

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