Managing multiple Git branches and PRs

Greg Foster
Greg Foster
Graphite software engineer

Effective management of branches and pull requests (PRs) is crucial for a streamlined and efficient workflow in Git. Keeping a tidy repository not only aids in navigation but also in understanding the current state of the codebase. This overview provides insights into handling multiple Git branches and PRs, ensuring you maintain a clean and organized repository.

Cleaning up after a feature has been merged is often overlooked. However, removing old branches is a best practice that keeps your repository uncluttered and manageable. Regular pruning of merged branches can prevent confusion and reduce the risk of working on outdated code.

There are scenarios when you have multiple branches and commits that need to be combined into a single branch. This can be the case for features developed incrementally across several branches or when preparing for a major release. Consolidating these into one branch before merging can simplify the review process and ensure that the feature works cohesively.

Visibility into each branch's status, especially in relation to PRs, is key to managing a complex Git repository. Knowing which branches are pending review, which have been merged, and which are still in progress helps in prioritizing tasks and understanding workflow progress.

By adopting best practices for branch and PR management, developers can ensure that their repositories remain clean, well-organized, and conducive to a collaborative environment. Effective branch management leads to a more robust development process, enabling teams to release features and fixes with confidence and precision.

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