I'm developing WP as a heavily bespoke CMS. One of the five plugins required is already 2500 lines of code and isn't quite finished.
I work between two machines - my laptop and my home PC.
Generally, my working method involves FileZilla and Notepad++. I log on to whichever machine I need to use; download all of /wp-content/ from server to machine and then carry on work.
This is quite a quick method of doing things, but it's poorly documented and fraught with risks of overwriting the wrong changes, etc.
I've heard subversion/github etc. mentioned a lot, and I notice that most serious developers use them, but I have no idea what they are or where to get started.
What are the benefits of using such systems?
How do I go about getting involved?
Realistically, will they save me time in the long run?
I've looked at a few links but tend to disengage when the terminology starts flying over my head, so I'd appreciate some human-speak where possible. I'm quite a techy guy, PHP/SQL/JS etc, but little experience with best practice in terms of coding as I'm roughly 114% self-taught.