My boss and I work on the same GDB. I tend to do most of the editing and he tends to do most of the viewing though we both do both.
My current system for doing this is (and our network speed) often require me to copy the .gdb to my C drive for editing and then I delete the network version and replace it with the newly edited version. I would really like to be able to lock the network version of the .gdb while I have a copy on my C drive.
I know there are expensive ways to co-edit but that is not an option for us.
Not sure what your question is but you may want to look at using a personal sde gdb. I would suggest using it as your production/edit environment and then one way replicate to a file gdb for viewing.