by Muhammad Faizan
When it comes
to software development, it's important to follow good coding practices
to ensure code quality,
maintainability, and collaboration. One such practice is making small, feature-based commits instead of
large, sweeping changes. In this article, we'll explore why feature commits are better than large commits, and
how they can help improve your development workflow.
The Advantages of Small Commits in Code Development
. Let's look at these benefits that come with adopting a small commit approach in your development process:
1. Better Code Quality
Small, feature-based commits allow developers to focus on a single feature or bug fix at a time, rather than trying to tackle multiple changes in a single commit. This approach leads to cleaner, more modular code that is easier to understand and maintain.
Additionally, smaller commits make it easier to spot mistakes and bugs, which can be addressed and fixed quickly.
Best practice: Refactor code into smaller, more modular functions or classes, and commit each change separately. This makes it easier to review and test code, and it also makes it easier to change or update code in the future.
Good commit message: "Refactor login validation code into separate function"
Worst practice: Making large, sweeping changes to code without committing along the way. This makes it difficult to isolate and fix bugs, and it can also make it harder to track down when a problem was introduced.
Bad commit message: "Updated login functionality"
2. Easier to Review
Large commits can be overwhelming to review, especially for other developers who are not familiar with the code changes. Feature commits, on the other hand, are focused and provide a clear understanding of what was changed and why. This approach makes it easier for code reviewers to understand the changes and provide feedback, resulting in faster and more accurate code reviews.
Best practice: Commit changes that are focused and clearly defined, and include detailed descriptions of what was changed and why. This makes it easier for others to understand what you've done and provide feedback.
Good commit message: "Add user profile picture upload functionality"
Worst practice: Making multiple changes in a single commit without clearly defining what was changed. This makes it difficult to review and understand what changes were made.
Bad commit message: "Update user functionality"
3. Easier to Collaborate
Feature-based commits make it easier for developers to collaborate on code changes. By breaking up code changes into smaller, more manageable pieces, developers can work on different features or bug fixes without getting in each other's way. This approach also makes it easier for new developers to get up to speed on the codebase, as they can focus on one feature or bug fix at a time.
Best practice: Breaking up the implementation of a feature into multiple smaller commits, and making sure each commit builds on the previous one. This makes it easier for other developers to understand what changes have been made and what still needs to be done.
Good commit message: "Implement search feature with autocomplete functionality"
Worst practice: Making large, sweeping changes to the codebase without discussing it with other team members. This can lead to conflicts and mistakes and can make it difficult for other developers to understand what changes have been made.Bad commit message: "Revamp entire application architecture"
4. Easier to Debug
Debugging can be a time-consuming and frustrating process, especially when trying to identify the source of a bug in a large commit. By making small, feature-based commits, developers can quickly identify the source of the bug and make necessary changes. Additionally, small commits make it easier to revert changes that introduce bugs, allowing developers to quickly roll back changes if necessary.
Best practice: Committing changes that fix specific bugs and including detailed descriptions of the bug and how it was fixed. This makes it easier to track down and fix bugs in the future.
Good commit message: "Fix bug where login form was not submitting correctly"
Worst practice: Making multiple changes in a single commit without clearly defining what was changed. This can make it difficult to isolate and fix bugs when they arise.Bad commit message: "Update login functionality and fix bugs"
5. Better for Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)
CI/CD is a development practice that involves automatically building, testing, and deploying code changes. Feature-based commits are better suited for this workflow because they allow developers to make changes incrementally, without disrupting the codebase. This approach reduces the risk of introducing bugs or breaking the build, which can slow down the development process.
Best practice: Adding automated tests to the codebase and committing them separately from other changes. This ensures that the codebase remains stable and consistent over time.
Good commit message: "Add unit tests for user authentication functionality"
Worst practice: Making large, sweeping changes to the codebase without testing them first. This can introduce bugs and make it difficult to maintain a stable codebase.Bad commit message: "Revamp entire application architecture without testing"
Feature-based commits are better than large
commits because they improve code quality,
make it easier to review and collaborate, and streamline the development
process. By following this approach,
developers can build better, more maintainable software and improve their overall