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Ben Nadel at cf.Objective() 2009 (Minneapolis, MN) with: Barney Boisvert
Ben Nadel at cf.Objective() 2009 (Minneapolis, MN) with: Barney Boisvert ( @barneyb )

Working Code Podcast - Episode 014: Zen And The Art Of Pull Requests

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I have "feelings" about many aspects of web application development. And, after working with git and GitHub for the last 10-years, I've formed a lot of strong opinions - oftentimes strongly held - about how Pull Requests (PRs) should be created and managed within a team context. For example:

Code completed is more important than code being written. As such, if an open PR sits around for more than an hour, your team has failed to review said PR in a timely manner.


If a PR takes more than 15-minutes to review, the PR is too large. The author of said PR has failed to decompose the problem into smaller, independently-deployable changes.

As you can imagine, my "PR Commandments" don't work for everyone or every team. This week, the crew meets to discuss my approach to Pull Requests, reaching consensus on some concepts and pushing-back strongly on others. And, of course, this is totally fine - every team has its own set of constraints that have bearing on how that team operates. Your mileage my vary!

Plus, we find out that Carol can be bribed with tacos... sweet, sweet tacos!

Or, listen to the full audio:

Listen to Episode 014, with:

Triumphs & Failures

  • Adam's Triumph - He just had his 9-year work anniversary at AlumnIQ! And, as he reflects on the last 9-years, he's amazed to realize that he never wanted to quit. Every day seems to be a stream of challenges; which is exactly what makes the work so invigorating! When he thinks back to prior jobs that he has quit, they were always boring jobs building "forms over data" type products. He's looking forward to the next 9-years!

  • Ben's Triumph (that's me) - I get a little nostalgic this week, recalling a thought I had 15-years ago about how amazing it would be to create a software system that worked like the human body, with cells that acted independently and communicated via hormones. At the time, I had dismissed the thought as being crazy; but, fast-forward to today, it turns out that my instincts were actually spot-on. Though, instead of hormones, we have event-streams, message queues, and pub-sub mechanism; and, instead of cells, we have distributed, independently-scalable systems that are kept up-to-date through "eventually consistent" communications!

  • Carol's Triumph - Her team has moved all thirteen of their pending-work branches into testing. This is the culmination of weeks of hard work. And, to top it off, she's proud of the fact that she was able to buckle-down and maintain a high standard of quality for her coding all the way to the very end! No cutting corners for this engineer!

  • Tim's Triumph - He was required to participate in a coaching and mentoring workshop at his company. And, though he was initially frustrated about having to put pressing-work-matters on hold, once the workshop started, he found it be quite helpful. And, he was even able to find the solution to a problem he's been wrestling with for some time! It turns out that if you open yourself up to opportunities in front of you, you never know what you're gonna find!

Follow the show! Our website is and we're @WorkingCodePod on Twitter and Instagram. New episodes weekly on Wednesday.

Reader Comments

I believe in love. I believe in compassion. I believe in human rights. I believe that we can afford to give more of these gifts to the world around us because it costs us nothing to be decent and kind and understanding. And, I want you to know that when you land on this site, you are accepted for who you are, no matter how you identify, what truths you live, or whatever kind of goofy shit makes you feel alive! Rock on with your bad self!
Ben Nadel