Git Workflows

Branching Strategies

  • Different teams will choose different strategies for managing their branches.
  • A branching strategy is also called a "workflow"
    • one popular strategy is named "Git Flow" but it's not the only git flow

Long Running Branches

  • This strategy uses two or more branches that are periodically merged into the master branch.
  • In this strategy, once you merge a change master you are saying "this change is ready for testing and deployment"


  • Simple
  • Consistent
  • Low cognitive overhead


  • Conflicts between master and the other branches
  • Need to keep long running branches to a minimum

Example: Master <- Develop

  • Using the master branch as stable
  • And using the develop branch as experimental

Using this strategy, you would merge the development branch into master when you want to activate the new features.

Example: Long Running Diagram

Long Running Branches

Example: Long Running Code

$ git checkout master
$ git status

On branch master
Your branch is up-to-date with 'origin/master'.

$ git branch develop
$ git checkout develop
$ git add files_that_changed
$ git commit -m "My awesome changes"
$ git checkout master
$ git pull
$ git merge develop
$ git push origin/master

Feature Branches

  • Feature branches are short lived and focus on one feature at a time
  • They should be branched off the updated master and be merged quickly


  • Isolated code changes
  • Easy to merge when used as designed
  • Leaves a trace about the intent of the branch


  • Can clutter the history
  • Need to be disciplined about keeping feature branches focused and short-lived

Master <- Feature

  • Using master branch as stable
  • And using a new topic or feature branch as experimental

Example: Feature Branch Diagram

Topic Branches with Merge

Example: Feature Branches Many

Topic Branches Many

Continuous Delivery

  • Some teams merge new features directly to master
  • After every commit, the code is automatically...
    • tested
    • deployed
  • This flow depends on a solid, stable set of automated tests
  • Benefits from feature flags which can switch new features on and off