Free Team Accounts: GitHub, Unity, and VSTS

I wanted to compare and contrast common tools used for source control.  I like different tools depending on what I am doing.  At work, I use VSTS because I work in an enterprise with many teams and lots of needs for project management, testing, and build/release.  For most projects on my own or with friends, GitHub is simple to setup and get going.  I also like to make Android apps for fun on the side and I choose Unity's source control over GitHub's because it is more integrated into the whole Unity platform.  I have summarized the 3 options below:

Image result for github

  • Used for open source, personal projects, and some enterprises. 
  • Unlimited users
  • Public repos by default, $7 a month for private repos
  • There is a basic board for organizing your work on a board and issue tracking.  It is really only built for Kanban (which is a to do list sort of workflow).  Can't really handle sprint tracking. 
  • Includes a Wiki. 
  • Recommend for: open source projects or small projects that you want to be public (unless you want to pay for the private repos) and if strong project management and sprints are not needed.  Enterprises will probably need to invest in another tool in order to get project management and sprints setup.  This is the quickest to setup and get going for a fun project with your friends. 

Image result for unity

  • Used for game development on the Unity platform and keeping your code safe and backed-up in their cloud. Unity helps you out with change conflicts on Unity scenes and code, which is a great benefit over using another 3rd party source control. Additionally, you can do free builds in the cloud. Version history only stays for the last 90 days on the free account, you have to upgrade to get unlimited history. 
  • Up to 3 users, have to upgrade to Unity Advanced for $9 then purchase more users $5/month per additional user (
  • Private repos by default
  • Recommend for: Groups of 3 friends or less making a game using Unity, or for a small company that will generate revenue out of a product.  More than 3 friends having fun can be a little bit of a pain / not worth the cost when GitHub will do it for free.  Unfortunately you cannot purchase more seats, the only option to get a 4th (or more) friend on is to upgrade your Unity Team to Advanced and THEN purchase seats on top of it... so looking at $14 a month for a team of 4, $19 a month for a team of 5 etc.. gets expensive.   

Image result for visual studio team services

  • Used mainly for enterprise, can be used for personal projects however.  Open source would be a difficulty because the repos are not exposed publicly. 
  • Up to 5 users, additional costs for more users ~$3/month per additional user. (  Devs with a MSDN license are free, so you can add them on top of the 5 free users if you like to have more users.  
  • Private repos, can't make them public. 
  • Think this is a great under-utilized option because it is not as well known.  It has a much more full blown experience for project management than GitHub and allows you to organize sprints or Kanban boards, dashboards for reporting, etc.. it might be overkill for a small group of 5 friends since it's meant for enterprises.  Not all of the features are free, you can't use the testing hub without paying extra or having an MSDN licence.  However, everything you need to save your code and manage your project is free.  You can choose between TFSVC if you like centralized source control or you can use Git for distributed flow.  Also includes a Wiki like on GitHub, but this is a new-ish feature to VSTS and still growing/changing a lot.  
  • Recommend for: small projects that you want to be private, enterprises, or for those with MSDN subscriptions. The project management is a lot stronger on here and it's more of a full blown product for all aspects of a software shop, some learning curves on customizing project management.  Overkill for working on a fun project with friends, really useful for enterprises. 


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