I love Scott Chacon

Monday 4 March 2024

Last week, I wanted to find the Git commit that introduced a specific variable in our codebase. This is the kind of “advanced” command that I never remember, as I use it only a few times per year.

A few seconds later, I found the answer on StackOverflow (where I noticed that I had already saved that answer, of course):

git log -S <search string> --source --all

The story could have ended here, it was just one more random question in the day of a software engineer.

The next day though, my Youtube feed suggested me a video called “So You Think You Know Git”, which is a recording of a recent talk given by Scott Chacon. For those who don’t know, Scott Chacon co-founded GitHub and wrote the “Pro Git” book. After that, he went on to make Chatterbug, out of frustration of not finding nice language courses after he moved to Germany. Now that he knows German, he decided to come back to Git and created GitButler, a new type of Git client.

I watched the talk and found it funny that he mentioned git log -S in there. I talked to a colleague about it and he told me two other colleagues already mentioned the talk to him. It is a this moment that I realized the marketing genius of Scott Chacon: you start a new product about Git, you put together a few slides with small Git tips (at the time where it actually looked like no one needs another Git presentation) and give a super quick summary about your new company at the end of your talk. At the time of writing, the video has been watched more than 600,000 times, which is a great number for a tech talk.

Since then, I haven’t tried GitButler yet but I might (I probably will) and I have told about it to few colleagues. So hats off to Scott Chacon for this great marketing strategy and remember to use git log -S!