3 things to make your pull requests suck less

Like most organizations we use a versioning control software. We currently use a locally hosted github. Our large teams views dozens of pull requests a day, some good and some bad. Below I’ll outline 3 simple rules to keep in mind when submitting your PR and viewing others PRs.

The above image is an example of a large change that needs to be reviewed. 2200 lines changed in this 1 pull request, 97 separate files.

  • Do NOT commit white space changes
  • Those changes that do not matter to the application at all. It wastes everyones time. The above image has 2000 white space changes. The extra space at the end of the line was removed, great for formatting but useless.

  • Be constructive, not just point out errors
  • No one likes the guy who just says “This is wrong.”. The person obviously thought it was right at one point, so help them don’t just point the error.

  • Comment back when you disagree
  • Just because someone has something to say about your code does not make it correct. Maybe they aren’t looking at the whole picture, just the slice of code that was edited. It’s ok to disagree, the product will be better for it.

I hope this helps make you and your product a little better.