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Development Workflow

Short Lesson

The majority of teams using git have a work flow that looks similar to the four well known work flows:

Git Development - the Shaken Fist Way

The Shaken Fist developers have chosen Trunk Based Development.

Branch Types

  1. Branch master

    • This branch should be a working version of the project that has passed all unit and integration tests.
    • The code is reasonably reliable but still has the reliability of software with a v0.x semver tag.
    • Code on the develop branch that has passed all CI pipelines can be merged to master.
  2. Branch develop

    • This is the development trunk.
    • All feature branches are branched from develop and merged to develop.
    • The develop branch is merged to master when significant development milestones have been adequately tested.
  3. Feature branches

    • Short-lived, generally a few days.
    • Normally only one developer.
    • When presented to the team, it is expected to pass the linter and unit tests.
    • It is normal that other team members suggest changes/improvements before merging.
  4. Branches release-vX.X

    • Only created when a release requires patches (hot-fixes).
    • Commits to this branch are cherry-picks from develop.
    • It is not expected that many commits are made to this branch.
    • If many commits are required to a release branch then this indicates the need for another release.


Feature branches

  • Feature/Bug branches have a prefix consisting of the GitHub issue number - no need for the word bug or issue.
  • The feature branch developer should squash commits to remove WIP commits before creating a Pull Request.
  • It is preferably that each remaining commit passes testing/CI.


  • Commits are not squashed when merged to master
  • Not squashing commits maintains history of multiple issues being solved.
  • Pull Request related commits remain grouped and can be understood as a single merge

Release branch

  • Only necessary bug fixes are cherry-picked from master to an existing release-vX.X branch.

Too many cherry-picked commits to a Release branch

If a large number of commits appear desirable on a release branch, it is probably an indication that another minor release would be a better idea.

If another release is not desired because master contains unstable features then either CI needs improving or that feature requires more work and should not be in master.