In a recently conversation I was told of a situation which I've experienced in the past and I'm sure others have as well.
While on holiday the code I'm responsible for has been modified by an external contractor. Before my holiday I pointed out that we should make sure version control is used by anyone making any change. It wasn't. Now I'm frustrated and pissed off. The problem isn't that someone else was editing the code, or that I somehow lost control of a fiefdom or anything like that. It's that I've just spent hours I could be using to do something else tracking down file modification dates and then diff'ing them against my versions out of version control. Time I shouldn't have to had spent doing anything The bigger issue is now I'm under pressure by my boss to deliver some changes at the same time as I have to deal with this, and no extra time has been allowed for it.You pay contractors to do work for you, a large part of that should be to insist they do it in a way that is consistent with your working practices. You wouldn't let them commit changes to a PHP website in ASP, Perl or Python and equally you should insist that changes are delivered consistently and in a manageable format. Warning flags get raised if someone tells me they don't use version control. Not knowing how and asking questions is one thing; I have no problem helping someone, a contractors included, learn our version control system and practices because I see our relationship as a long term one, so any investment in that relationship is worthwhile. If a contractor tells me they cannot or will not use our version control system though, we have a problem and usually we end the relationship then and there. It may sound like a hardline call based on a single criteria but it is a deal breaker for me. For a contractor there could of course be some concern that they've submitted the work and may not be paid. Version control is not the cause of this - it's dishonesty, plain and simple and if the person you're working for is that dishonest submitting code via email before the cheque clears is equally risky.