Undefined Rants

Code, Ramen and Avocado

Git/Github Flow for Beginner and Small Team

It’s been a while since my last update. I am back and would like to write down something I learned through both internships which I participated last month. One of the new thing I want to highlight is probably team developement flow on github. Before this, I was using github in my personal project like simplified and everything was easy. No issue, no pull request and no conflict !!! However, thing totally changes when there are multiple developers in the same project. Of course we can just use the successful Git branching model – gitflow in our development, but this seems too complicated for git beginner and small team(3-5 peoples). So we simplified this workflow to suit our project and it turned out quite successful. In this blog post, I will write down our Git + Github workflow during our development.

The main steps

  • Create new issue
  • Update local master branch
  • New branch for the issue
  • Write awesome code (commit)
  • Push to the remote repository
  • Create pull request

Among all of these steps, only the first and last step are done on remote repository(github). Let’s look at them one by one.

Create new issue

On github page repository, go to the Issues page and open a new issue. Here issue will be created and labeled by something like #number. That will be our issue number. Issue name should be clear and semantic. In our development it looks like this.

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CSRF Basic Prevention #186
// #186 is our issus number

Issue number is important during development on github. It links back to issue page from your commit message or pull request. To make our development history clean and clear, everytime before we start adding function or fix bug, new issue will be opened and discussed among team members. When the new issue is approved by other members, it will be assigned to a team member and he/she will proceed to the next step.

Update local master branch

After issue is assigned, we will start working on our local repository. Everytime we want to make sure our local master is up-to-date.

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$ git pull origin master

New branch for the issue

After confirming we have the latest master, we can create a new branch to add new feature.

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$ git checkout -b iss186-csrf-defend

Our branch name looks like iss<issue number>-<feature name>. This makes thing easier when we deploy our branch to github.

Write awesome code

Here we start writing code for our new feature. Staging and commiting are done frequently in this step. When we think we are done, our final staging and commiting will look like

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$ git add .
$ git commit -m "CSRF Prevention by One Time Token close #186"

Note that the close #186 behind the commit message. By adding special keyword syntax in our commit message, issue we created will be automatically closed when this branch is merge successfully. Of course, other special keyword syntax like resolve #186, fix #186 work as well. I really think github is awesome when I know this feature.

Push to the remote repository

Nothing difficult here but to make sure no conflict on the remote repository, it’s good to update current branch to the latest.

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git pull origin master
git push origin iss186-csrf-defend

Where iss186-csrf-defend is our current branch.

Pro Tip

We can also avoid retyping our branch name by doing so.

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git push origin HEAD

Where HEAD will be point to our current branch.

Create pull request

Awesome, our code are on github. It’s time to let other member know that our feature are ready and confirmation is needed. On github repository, create a pull request, compare master with our newly pushed branch(in this case iss186-csrf-prevention). Other member will be alert and review the code. Discussion can be done here among the members. When review is done and we received LGTM message, someone(other team member) will merge the pull request. Issue will be closed automatically if commit messages contain special keyword syntax. First step will be repeated.

It seems like a long step to repeat these flow everytime during new feature, or even minor typo fix. Yes it is ! However, during team development it’s important to keep track of every feature even it’s small as typo. By tracking all these records, project maintainance in the future will be easier. Also it’s important to discuss team-style-workflow eg: branch naming, commit message style before every development start.

Adventure is just bad planing.

Roald Amundsen

These workflow are just a workflow of my team during internship. If you just start your team development by using git + github, I hope this can be helpful. For a bigger and advanced project, gitflow will be cool.

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