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Muhammad Harith Zainudin
Muhammad Harith Zainudin

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Unlocking Seamless Collaboration and Code Quality: The Power of Standardized Commit Messages in Software Development ⚙️

Winnie The Pooh standard

I totally understand that sometimes it is really hard to give a meaningful commit message. For me, if it’s hard for you to give commit message, means there are just too much changes in your commit or it is complex. But if it is really super hard, then don’t waste your time. Just try your best to make it as simple as you can. Just don’t waste too much time.

Today, we will be talking about what’s the benefit of standardizing commit message across your project or team members.

Standardizing commit messages across teams in software development can bring several benefits that contribute to better collaboration, code quality, and maintainability. Here's a list of some key benefits:

1. Clarity and Consistency

Standardized commit messages provide a clear and consistent format for conveying the purpose and context of code changes. This makes it easier for team members to understand the changes, even if they are not directly involved in that part of the codebase.

Example: ABC-123: Implement profile picture upload functionality

If you able integrate your git repo with your issue tracking system like Jira, YouTrack or anything, The git will be able to detect the ticket number and directly point to the ticket in your issue tracking system.

Image showing boy trying to write clear commit message

2. Improved Communication

Clear commit messages enhance communication among team members. Developers can quickly grasp the changes made, understand the reasons behind them, and collaborate more effectively.

Orang Utan having a discussion

3. Easier Code Review

Standardized commit messages make code reviews more efficient. Reviewers can quickly assess the changes, understand the context, and provide meaningful feedback without spending extra time deciphering unclear messages. When your team mates or senior review your merge request, one of the way is to look at the commit message. If it’s clear, then, you will make the review process much faster!

Hand trying to push for LGTM button

4. Documentation and History

Well-structured commit messages serve as documentation for the codebase's history. Team members can look back and understand why certain decisions were made, which is valuable for troubleshooting, debugging, and maintaining the code in the future.

People pushing trolley full of document

5. Automated Processes

Many development tools and platforms leverage commit messages for automation. Continuous integration, continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines, version control systems, and issue tracking systems can use commit messages to trigger actions, generate changelogs, or link changes to specific issues. When you able to standardize it, you able to automate your deployment process.

Dog trying to use compute and wear spectacles

6. Search and Navigation

Standardized commit messages make it easier to search and navigate through the version control history. Developers can quickly find specific changes, understand their context, and follow the evolution of a feature or bug fix.

Spongebob trying to find somethings

7. Onboarding New Team Members

When new team members join, standardized commit messages help them quickly familiarize themselves with the codebase and understand ongoing development efforts.

2 People hand shaking

8. Consistent Changelogs

Commit messages can automatically generate changelogs for software releases. Consistent commit messages enable accurate and coherent changelogs that provide users with clear insights into new features, bug fixes, and improvements.

Ruler and pencil

9. Codebase Maintenance

As software evolves, the codebase may pass through multiple hands. Standardized commit messages make it easier for different developers to maintain and extend the codebase without confusion. Pretty sure you know it well that the bigger the codebase, the harder the maintenance. AND THE MORE CONFUSION ITS GONNA BE! Hence, one way to reduce this, is by having standard commit message.

Cat trying to fix car

10. Coding Best Practices

Encouraging thoughtful and standardized commit messages promotes coding best practices and a culture of professionalism within the development team.

2 People trying to practise and train kungfu

11. Reduced Technical Debt

Clear commit messages help avoid ambiguity and misunderstandings about code changes. This reduces the likelihood of introducing technical debt due to miscommunication.

12. Support for Open Source Projects

If the project is open source, standardized commit messages can make it more accessible to contributors outside the core team. Contributors from different backgrounds can understand and contribute effectively based on clear commit messages.

Overall, standardized commit messages play a significant role in fostering collaboration, maintaining code quality, and ensuring the long-term success of a software project. Commit message is not everything, but by having a standard commit message, you will be able to reduce the confusion and maintenance of the codebase while improving your process and standard in a long term.

Cartoon touching face in relieved

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