Posted about 9 years ago. Visible to the public. Repeats.

Gatekeeping: Guide for developer

Note: This process is tailored to our specific needs and tools at makandra. While it will certainly not apply to all (especially larger teams), we think it is a helpful starting point. Compare also the Gatekeeping: Guide for gatekeeper card.

In order to reduce the number of rejects we get from clients, we want to review all code written before it goes to the staging server.

If your project manager wants to do gatekeeping on a project, as a developer you need to follow the following guidelines.

Role of the master branch

You're generally not allowed to commit anything directly to master, except if you're asked to, or if you're fixing a reject from our client.

Starting a new feature

If you start a new feature, you need to:

  • Pull the most current master branch

  • Branch off the master with geordi branch or manually with:

    git checkout master git checkout -b FEATURE_BRANCH_NAME

If your feature depends on another feature branch that is not yet in the master, branch off that branch instead.

Name your branch like sort-users-by-name-73624, i.e. start with the PT story id, then a shortened story description. You can also start your branch with your initials, so that everyone can see who is working on the branch, e.g. ab/73624-sort-users-by-name.

Code and commit like usual. You may leave WIP commits, since they will be cleaned up later. You may follow this workflow.

Finishing a feature

When you're done with your feature and tests are green, and your changes pass our merge request checklist:

  • Within your feature branch, merge the current master and push using:

    git pull origin master git push -u origin feature-branch-name

    You're encouraged to use git pull --rebase if you know how it works.

  • Open a merge request by clicking the link Gitlab prints on push.

  • To open a merge request manually:

    • Open the project
    • Click "Merge Request" in the box on the right
    • Fill in
      • "From" with your feature branch
      • "To" with "master"
      • "Assign to" with yourself
      • "Reviewer" with your project manager
      • "Title" with a descriptive name, preferably using the story id and title from PT. Use gitpt or the commit bookmarklet to auto-generate the title.
  • Set the story to "Finished" in the Pivotal Tracker

If your code passes review

Your project manager will either merge and deploy the changes, or he will ask you to do it yourself in a note to the merge request (you will receive an e-mail)

If you're supposed to merge yourself, you need to

  • Get the latest master

  • Squash your commits using git rebase -i master or something similar

  • Merge into master

    git checkout master git merge feature-branch-name
  • Push

  • Delete the feature branch with

    git branch -D feature-branch-name git push origin :feature-branch-name
  • Deploy to staging

  • Set the corresponding PT story to “delivered”

  • Close the merge request on GitLab (happens automatically when you merge or delete the remote branch)

If your code is rejected by the project manager

If your code does not pass review, your story will be rejected on PT, with an explanation either on PT or as a note in the merge request. You'll get an e-mail either way.

Fixes will be made within the existing feature branch. Prepare by doing a

git checkout FEATURE_BRANCH_NAME git pull origin master

Now make your fixes. Again, squash WIP commits, but do not squash commits that have already been reviewed or merged into master. The gatekeeper needs to be able to see your changes separately.

When you're done, you may decide yourself (unless your project manager said otherwise),

  • if you want your changes to be reviewed again:
    • merge master and push again
    • your new commits will automatically turn up in the merge request
    • add a note to the merge request, indicating that the reject is fixed
  • or if you do not think another review is necessary:
    • merge, delete and deploy as above

If your code is rejected by the client

Since your branch has already been merged into master, you can make fixes directly in master and do not have to get them reviewed. If you want to get them reviewed, make a new feature branch for it.

Changes that do not need to be reviewed

As a good default, all non-trivial commits should be reviewed. However, your gatekeeper is allowed to make exceptions for changes where they don't think a review would add any value, e.g. for trivial changes (like fixing a typo). Another exception are client rejects, unless you want to get the fix reviewed.

If a change does not need to be reviewed, your project manager will add a note to the story that the code should be commited into the master branch without going through a merge request.

If two developers are working on the same code

In some cases it will be necessary to work on things in parallel. In this case, you are allowed to branch off someone else's (unfinished) feature branch, but please tell the person you're doing this.

You can keep working as usual, but the second developer to merge his branch needs to be a bit careful. You can still squash your commit as usual, but there is a chance that git will be unable to properly merge things. Please either

  • you try to merge, but review your final commit before pushing. Look out for changes that don't belong to your story (and are usually in place you never touched)
  • use git rebase --onto to rebase only your commit onto master

Your development team has a full backlog of feature requests, chores and refactoring coupled with deadlines? We are familiar with that. With our "DevOps as a Service" offering, we support developer teams with infrastructure and operations expertise.

Owner of this card:

Tobias Kraze
Last edit:
5 days ago
by Henning Koch
About this deck:
We are makandra and do test-driven, agile Ruby on Rails software development.
License for source code
Posted by Tobias Kraze to makandra dev
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