The simple workflow I want to describe has two guiding principles:
- Main default branch is always production-like and deployable.
- Rebase during feature development, explicit (non fast-forward) merge when done.
Pulling change-sets using rebase rewrites the history of the branch you’re working on and keeps your changes on top.
Use an issue template to provide a skeleton of all the details needed for a good issue.
git pull origin main
Now create a branch for the feature or bug-fix:
git checkout -b feature/ISSUE-123-awesome-feature
The branch name structure I show here is the one we use, but you can pick any convention you feel comfortable with.
Work on the feature as long as needed. Make sure your commits are meaningful and do not cluster separate changes together.
Use Conventional Commits Structured as follows:
<type>([optional scope]): <description> More details about the change resolves #GITHUB_ISSUE_ID
- feat: Introduce new features.
- fix: Fix a bug.
- docs: Add or update documentation.
- style: Improve structure / format of the code.
- refactor: Refactor code.
- perf: Improve performance.
- test: Add or update tests.
- ci: Add or update CI build system.
- chore: Add or update configuration files.
- revert: Revert changes.
Always push commits to remote so that if your local machine fails you do not lose work. Sharing your work also allows for soliciting feedback from reviewers.
git push -u origin ISSUE-123-awesome-feature (if the branch is already set as 'upstream' and the name of your remote is 'origin', 'git push' is enough)
- Add reviews
- Add Labels
- Use Pull Request template
- Link Issue
Every once in a while during the development update the feature branch with the latest changes in master. You can do this with:
git fetch origin git rebase origin/master
In the (somewhat less common) case where other people are also working on the same shared remote feature branch, also rebase changes coming from it:
git rebase origin/feature/ISSUE-123-awesome-feature
At this point solve any conflicts that come out of the rebase.
Resolving conflicts during the rebase allows you to have always clean merges at the end of the feature development. It also keeps your feature branch history clean and focused without spurious noise.
Before the review, it's good to perform a final clean-up and scrub of the feature branch commit history to remove spurious commits that are not providing relevant information. An experienced team can handle it – you can rebase also during development, but I don't recommend it.
git rebase -i origin/main
(At this point if you have rewritten the history of a published branch and if no one else will commit to it or use it, you might need to push your changes using the –force flag).
When finished with the development of the feature branch and reviewers have reviewed your work, merge using the flag –no-ff. This will preserve the context of the work and will make it easy to revert the whole feature if needed. Here are the commands:
git checkout master git pull origin master git merge --no-ff ISSUE-123-awesome-feature
If you followed the advice above, and you have used rebase to keep your feature branch up to date, the merge commit will not include any changes; this is cool! The merge commit becomes a marker that stores the context about the feature branch.
Instruct git that every pull uses rebase instead than merge, and it preserves while doing so:
git config --global branch.autosetuprebase always git config --global pull.rebase preserve
Not everyone likes to change the default behaviour of core commands, you should incorporate the above if you understand its implications. See Stack Overflow for details on preserve merges.