Git Process

Our git process is a upgraded version of Github Flow.

Instead of a single master branch, we use two branches to record the history of the project. The master branch stores code that's currently in production. The staging branch serves as an integration branch for features and fixes. It holds data that reflects what's currently on staging.

The master branch is always deployable.

As we use productive to manage our tasks we use feature branches for fixes and new features. Names of branches are always prefixed with feature/ together with a feature name, so a branch for adding authentication would be named feature/authentication.

Feature branches are always branched out of master. They are also merged first into staging and then into master if they are ready for production.

Never branch out of staging branch and never merge staging into master

We use pull requests for adding new features - pull requests initiate discussion about your commits. Because they're tightly integrated with the underlying Git repository, anyone can see exactly what changes would be merged if they accept your request. When making a pull request always make one for staging and one for master. The pull request workflow is defined for each project separately.

Why do we need staging branch and why never merge it into master

We use staging server so our QA team can test our applications in an environment that is as close to production as possible. We can also be working on multiple features in parallel. That fixes and features need to be verified by our QA team and sometimes by the client as well. It can happen that one feature is ready for production while others aren't and are still being woked on. In that case the staging branch contains multiple features but only one needs to end up on master. That is why we do not branch out of staging and do not merge staging into master.

Note on workflow during early development:

While the application is still not deployed on a production server, you can ommit the staging branch. Once the production server is setup and first deploy is up, create a staging branch.

Other important notes on using Git:

Commit messages are important, especially since Git tracks your changes and then displays them as commits once they're pushed to the server. By writing clear commit messages, you can make it easier for other people to follow along and provide feedback. Read how to make proper commit messages here.

Make small commits, following the Single Responsibility Principle in git. This makes commits easier to review when doing pull requests and it's easier to see what's going on when something goes wrong.

Don't use git add . Review what you're adding to your repo - this is the #1 cause of adding unwanted changes.