Photo by Marco Oriolesi.

Politicians Need Git

Many professions struggle with issues developers overcame years ago

Jacob Bergdahl
3 min readJan 24, 2022


Every software developer knows about and uses Git. It’s a collection of software for tracking changes and is a necessity for collaborating on projects. Git allows developers to work on the same files simultaneously by tracking version history and providing powerful merging capabilities.

Even if a piece of software were to contain hundreds of thousands of lines of code spread across thousands of files that are edited daily by hundreds of developers, Git would nevertheless make it easy to merge changes and view the history of files.

It’s an incredibly powerful set of tools, which is why it’s shocking that virtually no other professions have adopted it. Plenty of jobs could make use of the power of Git.

Such as politicians.

Photo by Frederic Köberl.

When the United States Congress passed the Covid-19 relief bill, it featured a lot more than just financial aid for small businesses and unemployment aid. It also contained laws that were practically unrelated to the topic, such as penalties against making money on pirated streamed content, the decriminalization of transporting water chestnuts across state lines, and tax breaks for Nascar.

Rider bills are lines of legislation snuck into larger bills, often unrelated to the larger bill’s actual goal. When added to spending bills, presidents will often have no choice but to sign them into laws since the presidential veto is an all-or-nothing power. US presidents have to sign an entire bill — or veto the whole thing, potentially shutting down the government if the bill is crucial enough.

A major problem for politicians is that bills are often hundreds of pages long and constantly being revised by many people. In fact, bills are often packed with pages that read something along the lines of “Subsection A of Paragraph 1 will be modified to […].”

This is utterly obsolete. If politicians used Git, they could easily track every change made and discover who made it.