Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Effective Git messages and history inspection

Embedded below is my presentation from 2015 on Effective Git: better commits via inspecting history and code archeology.

I showed the elements of an effective commit message, why they're useful during inspection of the code, and how to coerce your rough draft feature branch into a production ready artifact.

The slides in the video are washed out, so follow along with the Slides (pdf)

From the talk description:

Harness the power of Version Control to view a project’s evolution over time. We have the luxury of moving forward and backwards through the history of our projects, viewing changes through time and reading sign posts along the journey. Experience reading commit messages will prove how useful they are at sharing the mental model behind the code. Reading historical commit messages and viewing diffs improves our ability to document and stage our own commits. Commits are not write-only! They are messages from the past that tell us about our present.

I’ll show you the tools I use for diving into a new code base and how I interact with my current projects on a daily basis. I’ll show how I answer the questions that come up when reading and debugging code. I’ll show you how I stage and rebase my commits to make a readable history. You’re keystrokes away from pivoting from code to annotation to arbitrary diffs then cross-corelate commit messages with your ticketing system.