Git is great. I’ve explained why version control is so useful before, and loved how easy it was to get started with Github. Now, however, having used Atlassian products as part of my daily workflow, I’m migrating to Bitbucket, its Git hosting solution. Why? Three main reasons:

  1. Free private repos: demonstrating your work and contributing to open-source projects is great, but sensitive work, such as personal ventures and interview assignments, needs to be private. Bitbucket provides free hosting of private repositories, whereas Github does not.
  2. Sourcetree: various Git User Interfaces — such as Git Extensions — do the job, and the Github Windows client works well for Github repos alone, but I much prefer Sourcetree. It seems far more intuitive than any other Git UI I’ve used thus far, particularly for quickly branching, merging, then simultaneously committing and creating a pull request.
  3. Atlassian: the other products from the company responsible for Bitbucket are well worth investigating. I plan on using Jira issue-tracking for a more involved personal project, which although is not free, is a far more comprehensive solution than the free Github issue tracking. I will also trial the Bamboo continuous integration and build service at the same time, given its integration with the other products.

Best of all, migration from other Git repos to Bitbucket is trivial. Just hit the huge Create button in Bitbucket, follow the import a repository link and enter the details of your current Git host. An email confirmation later and you’re ready to clone in Sourcetree and continue developing like nothing happened, except you saved a little each month on a Github subscription! Feel free to follow my progress, and I’d be grateful to read of your experience with Atlassian products in the comments.