Betwixt Code and Music
Use a Pull Request Template in GitHub
October 14, 2020 — 2 min read
GitHub templates are all the rage!
If you are working on a team of > 1 and want to maintain a consistent approach to pull requests (a.k.a. PRs), I highly suggest adding a template to your repositories. This will not guarantee consistency on your team’s PRs since an individual can delete the text, but it will encourage more thorough documentation. Hopefully this leads to fewer bugs in production!
How to add a template
- Create a folder in the root of your project named
Add a file named
- This file will use GitHub-flavoured Markdown.
- Commit this file to the repository’s “main” branch.
- All new pull requests will have the template show up automatically. Devs can add/subtract around the template’s text as desired.
drumsensei’s basic template
Here is a template I use for a basic web application repository:
### Completes [Trello/Jira Story]() -------------- # The issue Title of Trello Card, e.g. As a user, I should be able to click the fancy button 🤓 # The solution How did you solve the issue? Include what you changed to fix the glitch. # Visuals Before | After ----- | ----- A | B # Test cases How can we thoroughly test this? Include sign-in information, if needed. - Get this code. -
Break it down
Link to the original ticket here. It’s good to give a reviewer context while looking over the proposed changes in the pull request.
Provide a brief description of the issue. I usually copy over the title of the card like “As a user, I should be able to click the fancy button”.
Explain the approach being used in the proposed changes. Provide useful links to library documentation, GitHub issues, stack overflow posts, etc. to back up your research. Be thorough.
If necessary, provide before and after images/gifs. Future-you will appreciate this when searching back through older pull requests to quickly find when a change was made.
Give the reviewer sign in information and scenarios needed to test the proposed changes. Writing this section should make the developer think through every scenario. More than once I have gotten to this point of my draft pull request only to realize that I left off my own testing for a scenario. Be as thorough as possible.
If you want to increase consistent documentation on your team’s pull requests, please consider adding a template. I have found it to be helpful on the projects where I work with other people.