Brendan Enrick

Daily Software Development

Schedule Standups in the Morning

It may not seem like it’s that big of a deal. I know a lot of people make sure to have a daily standup meeting either with just the team or involving the client. Either way, it’s very important to schedule these meetings in the morning. The reason for the level of importance I place on this is the tone of the meeting.

The most important thing to get out of a standup meeting is having everyone on the same page for what’s going to be done that day. You need to know who’s there, who’s working on what, if priorities are changing. It’s your opportunity to know what is going to happen that day (most likely happen).

If you conduct this meeting in the afternoon or near the end of the day, the tone can shift to discussing what did or didn’t get done. That’s all well and good to know, but it detracts from the discussion of the future. Remember, you only get so much time; use that time to make the next step a better one. Focus on where you’re going, not where you’ve been.

Deleting a Remote Git Branch

Another bit of git command line that a lot of people struggle to remember is the syntax to delete a remote branch. If you read my post from a couple of days ago, I mentioned a couple of things about deleting git branches. That’s how you delete them locally. If you want to push that deletion up to the remote repository as well, you need to take one additional step.

The command I use to delete remote branches is this:

git push origin :my-branch-name

It’s that “:” that tells it to delete the branch. Yes, it may seem confusing, but there is a reason for it. I’ll explain below for those who are interested in learning more.

Here is a slightly easier syntax, but I don’t like typing the additional characters.

git push origin --delete my-branch-name

Feel free to use this syntax, it’s newer, but you most likely have support for it. It’s been out for years now.

Here is the reason (other than its being shorter) that I like the first syntax better.

If you want to push our a git branch, you use this command:

git push origin my-branch-name

If you wanted it to have a different name remotely than it has locally, you would do this:

git push origin my-local-name:my-remote-name

Which means that if you wanted to push “nothing” over the remote branch with that name you would do this:

git push origin :my-remote-name

Notice how the command is pushing empty over that branch, which is then interpreted as a “delete” by git. That’s how I make sense of it, plus this is a neat little bit of info about the command.

I hope this helps people adopt and use git more easily. If you’re new to git or GitHub, I recommend that you check out my Pluralsight course, GitHub for Windows Developers. The course takes an easy-to-follow approach to getting you set up using Git, GitHub, and GitHub for Windows.

Speaking at CodeMash 2015

I am very grateful to be speaking at my 6th CodeMash. I’ve again been selected to present a precompiler on Software Craftsmanship (a topic I am very passionate about). I hope that everyone can attend my workshops. I’ve got two of them again, so I’ll be spending a full day working with software craftsman coding. We’ll be focusing as always on practicing, pairing, testing, and applying all of these effectively. We’ll work through ways you can use practice to learn new concepts and patterns to improve your skills at building great software.

SpeakerSelection

Once again, Steve Smith and I will be presenting these Precompiler workshops together, so you’re sure to have a blast!

Our sessions are usually held back-to-back, so that you can attend the beginner session in the morning and follow it up with the intermediate session in the afternoon. Last year, our afternoon session had to have extra chairs and tables brought in for all of the extra people who showed up. My goal every year is to put on a workshop that will be the highpoint of your CodeMash! Join us for some great coding, learning, and practicing of your software skills.

If you’re in the Northeast Ohio area and want to learn more about software craftsmanship, you should check out HudsonSC. Our October meeting has been scheduled already. We meet on the third Wednesday of every month in Hudson, Ohio.

Deleting Git Branches Carefully

I noticed someone recently using a “hard delete” in the git command line recently. I commented on it being brave, but it turns out that he didn’t realize there was a different way to delete a branch in git. In case anyone else is wondering the difference, here is a quick tip on it.

In the git command line, you can use the “-D” parameter to delete a branch. It looks like this:

git branch –D my-branch-name

This will delete the branch regardless of whether it’s been merged back in. This can be dangerous, since you may lose changes that you’ve not yet merged elsewhere.

If you want to be more careful with your branch deletion, you should use a lowercase “d” with the “-d” or “—delete” parameter. That would look like this:

git branch –d my-branch-name

This will delete the branch only if you have merged the branch up already. This means that the branch’s changes should have been saved in the parent branch already, so it’s safe to delete. If you try this when it hasn’t been merged, you’ll received a message telling you that the branch was not deleted for this reason.

If you want to see the branches that still need to have their changes merged, you can do that using the following command:

git branch --no-merged

If you want to see the branches that can safely be deleted, because their changes have already been merged upstream, you can use this command:

git branch --merged

I hope you found these quick tips useful while you’re using git. If you’re new to git or GitHub, I recommend that you check out my Pluralsight course, GitHub for Windows Developers. The course takes an easy-to-follow approach to getting you set up using Git, GitHub, and GitHub for Windows.

A Git Branch Changes Nothing

I'm serious. If you create a new branch in git, you didn't really do much of anything. All you did was make a pointer. There is no copying of the files. No additional changesets. When you checkout the branch you just created, you still didn't really do anything. It just changes which branch you’re on. The files don’t change at all. That's because git does not need to change the source code at all in order to deal with this new branch.

When you start changing the code, however, you'll be adding new commits that are in that branch. The branch itself isn't really a thing though, since git effectively just makes a linked list of your changesets.

NetworkGraph

In the example shown here, notice that the blue line for “feature-xyz” does not have a dot until it’s first commit. That is because the branch starts, and it’s just a link pointing nowhere. Once there is a commit, there is some significance, but the branch itself is nothing. Git is primarily just a tree made of these links. This simple example illustrates some basic branching and merging.

I hope this little bit of info about git makes using it easier. If you want to learn more about using GitHub, please check out my Pluralsight course on GitHub.

Drag Drop Repo - GitHub Tips 5

I’ve got a Pluralsight course about using GitHub that went live on Tuesday, so I thought I would post a few quick tips to help anyone using GitHub or GitHub for Windows and also promote my course.

There are a ton of ways to get a repository into GitHub for Windows to use it to manage your repository. I go over all of these in my Pluralsight course, but one of the neatest ways to add a repository is to just drag and drop the folder or the page.

You literally just need to go to the folder in explorer and drag the folder into GitHub for Windows.

DragFolderToCreate

Once you’ve dragged the folder in, it will bring up this “Create” context menu if it’s not already a repository. This will also call “git init” on the folder, so it becomes a repository.

AfterDragging

Once it’s done, you’ll have a repository. It will commit an initial .gitattributes and .gitignore file for you.

AfterDragAndCreated

If you already have a repository on GitHub, you can drag the URL into GitHub for Windows.

DragDropBrowserUrl

Once you drag it in, GitHub for Windows may want to know where to store the local copy. Just choose a location for it.

DragDropBrowserUrlChooseFolder

After it is done cloning the repository, you’ll have a local, connected copy.

DragDropBrowserUrlCloned

I hope these little tricks make it easier for you to set up repositories with GitHub for Windows, and if you want to learn more about GitHub, check out my Pluralsight course.

Open Shell Here - GitHub Tips 4

I’ve got a Pluralsight course about using GitHub that went live on Tuesday, so I thought I would post a few quick tips to help anyone using GitHub or GitHub for Windows and also promote my course.

When you need to use the command line, it’s nice to open it right in your repository instead of having to “cd” your way there. When you’re in GitHub for Windows, you can use the Tools context menu to “Open Shell” like this:

OpenGitShellContextMenu

Once open, you’re in a git shell in your repository with context-aware information to help you complete your task.

GitShellOpenInRepo

I hope this quick tip is useful for you, and if you’d like to learn more about GitHub and GitHub for Windows, please check out my Pluralsight course.

Two Factor Auth - GitHub Tips 3

I’ve got a Pluralsight course about using GitHub that went live yesterday, so I thought I would post a few quick tips to help anyone using GitHub or GitHub for Windows and also promote my course.

One of the main concerns that I hear from businesses about hosting their code off-site is security. While nothing can ever be “completely secure”, you can help yourself a little bit by enabling two factor authentication in GitHub. It uses most two factor authentication apps, so you can set up any device as the second key.

Once you’ve got it set up, GitHub for Windows will even prompt you for that auth token after you type your password. Annoying to have an extra step? Yes. More secure? Yes.

GitHubTwoFactorAuth

I hope that tip helps someone keep their GitHub account safer, and if you want to learn more about GitHub, please check out my Pluralsight course.

Descriptive Icons - GitHub Tips 2

I’ve got a Pluralsight course about using GitHub that went live today, so I thought I would post a few quick tips to help anyone using GitHub or GitHub for Windows and also promote my course.

When you’re running in GitHub or GitHub for Windows, you’ll see some icons that are near the repository name. These tell you a bit about the repository. They can indicate that a repository is a GitHub repository, non-GitHub repository, or a fork of a GitHub repository. They’ll be here when you’re running GitHub for Windows.

HighlightGitHubIcons

This icon indicates a GitHub repository:

GitHubIcon

This icon indicates a forked GitHub repository:

ForkedIcon

This icon indicates a repository that is either local-only or connected to a different remote (not GitHub):

LocalOrOtherRemoteIcon

I hope you find this quick tip useful. If you want to learn more about GitHub and GitHub for Windows, please check out my Pluralsight course!

Enter To Commit - GitHub Tips 1

I’ve got a Pluralsight course about using GitHub that will be going live this Tuesday, so I thought I would post a few quick tips to help anyone using GitHub or GitHub for Windows and also promote my course.

I thought I would start out these posts with a very simple time saver. When you’re typing your commit message, you can just click enter to commit your changes.

Click Enter To Commit

If you’re including additional information in a description, clicking enter will just give you a new line like so.

 EnterNewLineDescription

I hope knowing this will keep you from having to move your hands from your keyboard, and if you want to learn more about GitHub, check out my GitHub course! This tip is not mentioned in my course, so you’ll need to watch it to learn more.