The Pull Request Checklist for Startups

Image for post
Image for post
The Pull Request Checklist for startups.

Startups that have an effective Pull Request (PR) process can ship features faster and with higher-quality code.

The key to an effective PR process for startups is to keep items small and decide on a lightweight guideline for describing what the PR introduces.

Here we’ll go over what we’ve found works best at Bytebase.

Pull Requests (PRs) should be short and meaningful.

Short PRs lead to higher-quality code.

Short PRs lead to faster delivery of features.

There is such a thing as “too short.”

At Bytebase, we keep PRs short by breaking down our tasks into small shippable pieces.

Break tasks into Small Shippable Pieces.

Let’s see this in action.

Suppose I’m writing a blog application and have a task:

A reader can see the author of a blog post below the title of the post.

Rather than coding this task all at once, and putting up a big PR, I break the task down into small shippable pieces. I then submit the code changes for each piece in a different PR:

PR#1: Add author field to the Blog Post model.

PR #2: Add API endpoint that exposes author details for a Blog Post.

PR #3: Update frontend to show Blog Post author.

Note that these PRs need to be shipped sequentially, but #1 can be shipped without the others, and #2 can be shipped without #3.

Use a Lightweight PR Guideline

At Bytebase, our PR description includes:

  • What changed.
  • Any questions for the reviewer.
  • Any next steps to do in this thread of work.
  • What you tested manually.
  • Screenshots if UI is impacted.

Using this guideline, let’s see how our PRs look for our task above.

PR#1: Add author field to the Blog Post model.

Image for post
Image for post
PR#1: Add author field to the Blog Post model.

PR #2: Add API endpoint that exposes author details for a Blog Post.

If we had a question, for example, about the limitation of our API design, we’d include a “Questions” section below “What Changed.”

Image for post
Image for post
PR #2: Add API endpoint that exposes author details for a Blog Post.

PR #3: Update frontend to show Blog Post author.

Image for post
Image for post
PR #3: Update frontend to show Blog Post author.

By keeping our PRs short and following an informal template, we make our PRs easier to review. This helps us write better quality code and ship faster.

Thanks for reading!

Bytebase, the byte-size knowledge base.

Check us out at bytebase.io or email me with subject line ‘Builder’ for access.

Written by

This is the official blog of https://bytebase.io— the fastest way to write, organize, and collaborate on notes.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store