10 Git Workflow Best Practices

If you want to make sure your Git workflow is as efficient as possible, following these best practices can help.

Git is a powerful tool that enables developers to work collaboratively on code. When used properly, it can help developers to avoid merge conflicts and keep track of code changes.

However, Git can also be confusing and difficult to use if you don’t follow best practices. In this article, we’ll share 10 Git workflow best practices that will help you use Git more effectively.

1. Use a branch for every feature or fix

When you’re working on a project, it’s important to keep your codebase clean and organized. By using branches, you can isolate your work from the rest of the codebase. This way, if you make a mistake, you can easily fix it without affecting the rest of the code.

Additionally, branches help to keep your commits organized. If you have a lot of commits for a single feature, it can be difficult to find them later on. By using branches, you can easily view all of the commits for a particular feature in one place.

Finally, branches can be used to create different versions of a codebase. For example, you could have a development branch and a production branch. This way, you can work on new features in the development branch without affecting the production branch.

2. Keep your branches short-lived and up to date

When you have a long-running branch, it’s easy to get behind on the latest changes that have been made to the master branch. This can lead to merge conflicts when you finally do try to merge your branch back into master.

By keeping your branches short-lived, you can avoid this problem altogether. Make sure to regularly rebase your branch onto master so that you are always up to date with the latest changes. This will also make it much easier to merge your branch when you’re ready.

3. Merge often, rebase rarely

When you rebase, you’re essentially rewriting history. This can be problematic if other people are working off of your branch because it will make it difficult for them to merge your changes. If you must rebase, make sure to coordinate with everyone who is working off of your branch first.

Merging, on the other hand, simply adds your changes on top of the existing history. This is a much safer operation that is less likely to cause problems for others.

4. Make small commits with descriptive messages

When you make small commits, it’s easier to keep track of your work and understand the changes that you’re making. If you make a large commit with many changes, it can be difficult to understand what was changed and why.

It’s also important to have descriptive commit messages so that others (and future you) can understand the changes that were made. A good commit message should describe the change that was made and why it was made.

5. Write good commit messages

Firstly, a good commit message is useful to yourself and other developers on your team when trying to understand the history of a project. If you look at a commit and the message says “fixed bug”, it’s not very helpful in understanding what actually changed in the code. A good commit message should be descriptive enough that someone looking at it can understand what changed and why.

Secondly, a good commit message is also useful when you’re trying to debug a problem. If you can bisect your code to find the commit where a bug was introduced, then you can use the commit message to help understand why the bug was introduced and how to fix it.

So, how do you write a good commit message? Here are some tips:

– Use the imperative mood in the subject line (e.g. “Fix bug” instead of “Fixed bug”)
– Keep the subject line under 50 characters
– Capitalize the subject line
– Do not end the subject line with a period
– Use the body to explain what and why you have done something
– Keep the body under 72 characters per line
– Use the body to explain why this change is necessary
– Include a link to the issue or ticket that this commit is resolving

6. Don’t rewrite history

When you rewrite history, it can create problems for other people who are working on the same project. For example, if someone has already pulled the commits that you’re trying to rewrite, and then you rewrite those commits and push them up, it will cause a conflict for that person.

It’s also important not to rewrite history because it makes it difficult to track changes. If you keep rewriting history, it will be hard to look back and see what was changed and when.

If you need to make a change to a commit that has already been pushed, you can use the git revert command. This will create a new commit that undoes the changes in the original commit.

7. Avoid merge conflicts

Merge conflicts happen when two different branches have changed the same part of the codebase, and then those changes are merged together. This can cause problems because now there are two different versions of the code in one place, and it’s not clear which one should be used.

This can lead to bugs and other problems, so it’s important to avoid merge conflicts whenever possible.

There are a few ways to do this. One is to make sure that you always pull from the main branch before you start working on your own branch. That way, you’ll have the latest changes and won’t be working on outdated code.

Another way to avoid merge conflicts is to use a tool like Git Flow. Git Flow is a workflow tool that helps manage branching and merging. It can help you avoid merge conflicts by automatically creating and merging branches for you.

Finally, you can also use tools like GitHub’s Pull Request Builder to help prevent merge conflicts. Pull Request Builder will automatically check for merge conflicts and give you a warning if there are any.

By following these best practices, you can avoid merge conflicts and keep your git workflow running smoothly.

8. Follow the same workflow as everyone else on your team

If everyone on your team is using the same git workflow, then it will be much easier to collaborate and work together. When you’re all working off of the same branch, for example, you won’t have to worry about merge conflicts as much. And if someone needs to push their changes to the remote repository, they’ll know exactly where to find the latest version.

following the same git workflow also makes it easier to troubleshoot problems when they arise. If everyone is following the same steps, then it’s easier to pinpoint where things went wrong. And if you need to ask for help from someone on your team, they’ll be more likely to be able to help you if they’re familiar with your workflow.

9. Automate your Git workflow whenever possible

When you’re working with Git, there are a lot of repetitive tasks that need to be done in order for your workflow to run smoothly. If you can automate these tasks, it will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.

There are many ways to automate your Git workflow. For example, you can use a tool like HubFlow to manage your branching strategy. Or, you can use a tool like GitLab CI to automate your build process.

No matter how you choose to automate your workflow, the important thing is that you do it. Automating your workflow will make your life much easier in the long run.

10. Learn how to undo changes in Git

Git is a powerful tool that gives you a lot of control over your code. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Because Git allows you to make so many changes to your code, it’s important to know how to undo those changes if you need to.

There are a few different ways to undo changes in Git. The most common way is to use the “git reset” command. This command will revert your code to a previous commit.

You can also use the “git revert” command to undo changes. This command will create a new commit that undoes the changes from a previous commit.

Finally, you can use the “git checkout” command to discard changes that have not been committed yet.

Knowing how to undo changes is an important part of using Git effectively. By learning how to use these commands, you can avoid making mistakes that could break your code.


10 Golang Testing Best Practices

Back to Insights

10 Maintenance Window Best Practices