DEV Community

Cover image for Improve your dev experience with Gitlens!
Riccardo Solazzi
Riccardo Solazzi

Posted on • Originally published at

Improve your dev experience with Gitlens!

Hello There, TheZal here! I've never hidden my love for the GitKraken suite and today I'm gonna show you one of the best tools I use by GitKraken: GitLens!

Hello There!

What is GitLens?

GitLens is a powerful visual studio code extension that allows everyone who is using it to improve the quality of their work.

There are many features, some are available for free and some other are included in the GitLens+ plan. I use the free plan and I can say that just with this plan the use of vscode is really improved.

I'm gonna break down a list of what I think the use of GitLens easily improve and I'll try to motivate that in few words: let's get started!



When it comes to software development, staying focused is key to getting things done smoothly and efficiently. And that's where GitLens comes in! It's a game-changer for me. With GitLens, I can easily keep track of important code changes and see who worked on what, without getting distracted by switching contexts.

GitLens has some awesome features that really level up your Git experience. You get inline blame annotations and CodeLens, which give you deeper insights into how your code has changed and who made those changes, you can even toggle on-demand annotations for the whole file, which gives you a detailed breakdown of recent changes and a cool heatmap showing you which lines have been modified recently!

Navigating through file revisions becomes a breeze with GitLens. You can dive into the history of a file and see how the code has evolved over time, gaining valuable insights into its progression and here's the best part: GitLens has a status bar blame feature that quickly tells you who made changes to the current line and when, all without interrupting your workflow. It keeps the info you need right at your fingertips.

To make your Git workflow even smoother, GitLens has a handy Git command palette that guides you through common Git commands, so you don't have to juggle different contexts or remember complicated command-line options.

And let's not forget about the awesome commit search functionality in GitLens: you can easily search and explore commit histories based on different criteria like commit messages, authors, specific file changes, and more. It's a powerful way to navigate and investigate the evolution of your codebase.

In a nutshell, GitLens is a must-have tool for developers who want to stay focused. It helps you zoom in on important changes, track code authorship effortlessly, and minimize any distractions caused by context switching. With GitLens, you can unlock the full potential of Git and ensure a seamless and productive software development experience. 🚀✨

Collaborate to success

Collaboration is cool

Collaboration is key in the coding world. It's all about working together smoothly, with the right context, to avoid delays and deliver top-notch code. That's where GitLens comes in. It's a revolutionary advancement that gives you a clear view of your team's work and progress. With GitLens, you can make informed decisions as you collaborate on code, making the development process a breeze.

GitLens has cool features that foster effective collaboration: the blame annotations and CodeLens show you who made recent changes, so you can easily find the right people to work with. No more back-and-forth—collaboration becomes quick and efficient, making teamwork a piece of cake! 🍰

And that's not all. GitLens has a contributors view that lets you see each team member's contributions. You get a deeper understanding of everyone's work, creating an environment where everyone's efforts are recognized and valued.

The commit graph is another awesome feature. It visually represents your team's progress, showing branches and commits. You can easily see how everything fits together and understand the overall project progress. It's a big-picture view that promotes effective collaboration and keeps everyone on the same page.

To collaborate smoothly without disrupting your workflow, GitLens has the worktrees feature. You can review pull requests and changes without interrupting your current work. Just create a new worktree, focus on your tasks, and collaborate seamlessly while staying productive.

GitLens also integrates with different Git hosts, giving you additional context from issues and pull requests. This integration provides valuable insights into the project's landscape, making collaboration more effective and ensuring everyone is well-informed and aligned.

And here's the best part: GitLens works seamlessly with LiveShare. You can see your teammates' presence and start real-time collaboration sessions with ease. It's a collaborative environment where you can work together, troubleshoot issues, and iterate on code in real-time.

In a nutshell, GitLens empowers teams to collaborate effortlessly and efficiently. It gives clear visibility into work and progress, helps find collaborators quickly, and integrates with other collaboration tools. With GitLens, coding becomes a true team sport. Say goodbye to communication barriers, embrace teamwork, and deliver top-quality code with ease. Let's collaborate and make coding awesome!

Visualization is the key!

GitLens graph

Discover the magic of GitLens and unlock valuable insights hidden in your Git repository. This awesome tool boosts visualization, helping you make smarter choices during development.

GitLens puts the Commit Graph in the spotlight, offering a captivating visual of all the work happening. It's like a bird's-eye view of your codebase evolution, and the best part? You can interact with Git using handy context menus right within the graph, making precise decisions effortlessly.

Another cool feature is Visual File History: it lets you quickly spot important changes made to a file and see who made them. With GitLens, you'll understand how each file has evolved, giving you the confidence to navigate through your codebase.

The Interactive Rebase Editor is a powerful ally for interactive rebasing. No more worries about syntax or commit order: GitLens lets you reorder commits with a simple drag-and-drop interface. You can also easily edit, squash, or drop commits, taking full control of your revision history.

But GitLens doesn't stop there: it offers Side Bar Views that cover various aspects of your Git repository, from Commits and File History to Branches, Remotes, Stashes, Tags, Contributors, and more, you get a complete picture of your project's development.

Experience rich comparisons with GitLens! See the differences between branches, tags, commits, and more in a visual way. It's a comprehensive way to understand the similarities and divergences in your codebase, making informed decisions based on the insights provided.

For in-depth details, turn to the Commit Details feature. It gives you quick access to crucial information about a commit, like the author, commit ID, associated issues and pull requests, and changed files. GitLens puts all the important details right at your fingertips, so you have the context you need to make informed choices.

In a nutshell, GitLens sheds light on the hidden secrets of your Git repository. With enhanced visualization, it helps you explore the impact of Git actions, make smarter choices, and navigate your codebase with confidence. GitLens empowers you to uncover the knowledge within, taking your software development journey to a whole new level of understanding and mastery. Let's GitLens and level up!

Easy connection


Get ready to tap into the incredible power of GitLens! It's all about making connections and getting the context you need effortlessly: when it comes to productivity, switching between tasks can be a real hassle. But fear not! GitLens is here to save the day by giving you all the extra info from issues and pull requests right at your fingertips.

GitLens works like magic when it comes to integrating with Git hosting platforms. It takes your features to the next level by adding extra context from issues and pull requests, all without leaving your IDE. You get the full picture of your codebase, with all the info you need to collaborate like a pro.

Autolinks are another cool feature in GitLens. They make it super easy to link to external references like Jira issues or Zendesk tickets directly from your commit messages. No more wasting time searching for info – it's right there, keeping your workflow connected and boosting your productivity.

GitLens doesn't stop there – it's also a superstar when it comes to Git hosting platforms like GitHub Enterprise and GitLab Self-Managed. You'll see avatars for commit authors, richer details for linked issues and pull requests, and the ability to view associated pull requests with commits and branches. With GitLens, you can navigate and collaborate smoothly within your favorite Git hosting platform, making teamwork a piece of cake.

But wait, there's more! GitLens seamlessly integrates with LiveShare, so you can quickly see when your teammates are online and join real-time collaboration sessions in a snap. Whether it's troubleshooting or brainstorming, GitLens has got your back, making collaboration a walk in the park and boosting your teamwork to new heights.

Say goodbye to account and license management headaches with GitLens's Single Sign-On (SSO) feature. It simplifies authentication, so you don't need separate credentials, and all your accounts and licenses are managed in one place. It's a smooth experience that saves you time and lets you focus on what really matters – your code.

In a nutshell, GitLens is a game-changer for connecting and collaborating with your codebase. With extra context from Git hosting platforms, autolinks for external references, and seamless integration with collaboration tools like LiveShare, GitLens gives you the edge to boost productivity and supercharge your teamwork. Say hello to smoother sailing and more coding fun with GitLens!



Level up your coding game and unleash the hidden gems in your codebase with GitLens! 🚀

GitLens is a game-changing tool that turbocharges your development process and boosts your productivity. With its impressive array of features like the Commit Graph, Visual File History, and Worktrees, GitLens eliminates the hassles and roadblocks that slow you down.

With GitLens by your side, you'll skyrocket your progress, collaborate effortlessly with your team, and deliver top-notch code in record time. Say goodbye to sluggish development and hello to the speed and efficiency that GitLens brings to your coding adventure! 💪✨

A little shout to the GitKraken ambassador and Microsoft MVP Luca Del Puppo, check out his articles on gitlens:

  1. First step with GitLens
  2. Blame & Compare
  3. Interactive Rebase

If you found this useful feel free to leave a comment here or to reach me on Twitter, GitHub, or mail and share it with your dev friends!

Top comments (0)