Think about how you generally work on some code. You write some code then decide you want to try something else, so you make a copy, maybe you name it
version-2. Then you decide you want to try something else, you copy and name it
Now you have a litter of different files for different features you’ve tried out.
Git branching solves this problem by providing a clean way to make copies of your code to work on a specific feature.
Working smoothly with teams
Branches help facilitate working on teams a little better, because we can have a pristine version of the website:
master and then we work on separate branches.
Most often, on teams, we protect the
master branch: the prevent erroneous commits going onto
master—which also means they will go onto the live website.
masteris the exact replica of what’s online.
- Only approved code should be put onto
masterbecause it will show on the website for real users.
- We don’t directly commit to
masterbecause we want our code vetted before launching to users.
Branches for every feature
Each new feature we want to add to our website get its own branch. When a feature is complete the branch is discarded & not used again. Of course it’s important to merge the code into master first.
We can even use branches for testing something out, if it fails, we can just discard the branch and we don’t accidentally affect the live website.
Branches for bug fixes
Even a small typo or bug fix will get its own branch. Creating a pull request for a small typo is a little annoying, yes, but it keeps us all accountable for changes that get deployed to the live website.
Code reviews for everybody
As part of working on teams it’s always important that we get our code reviewed by our peers.
As part of GitHub’s systems we can prevent code from showing on our
master branch until it has been approved by someone else. It makes everyone accountable for what’s on the live website—and helps us improve by getting our code looked at by others.
☛ Follow a step-by-step lesson on setting up your repository.
There’s a process called GitHub Flow that’s very popular for working on teams.
The process follows these steps:
masterto your computer to get the newest version
- Make a new branch, from
master, naming it after the new feature
- Make lots of commits
- Publish the branch to GitHub & make a pull request
- Get a teammate to approve or reject the code
- If changes are needed make more commits to the branch
- After approval the branch gets merged into
- Your local branch can be deleted and
☛ See the branching flowchart for a more detailed explanation. ☛ Learn how to update your code after branching.
☛ Follow a step-by-step branching lesson.