How to Avoid Branching
Best practices for Trunk-Based Development
Goal is Continuous Integration
Really we want Faster Feedback
In monolithic codebases, it's hard to make quick changes
Team members need to have the skills to make the changes
The mindset gets in the way of people making a change from one monolithic build
I want refactor mercilessly
I want to release rapidly
100s of developers, with a big legacy codebases
Branches allow you to circumvent fixing underlying issues in the organization
Emergent architecture, i.e. not designing your code up front, can cause a codebase that is even harder to do trunk-based development.
The business wants to be able to cherry-pick features.
Can find yourself in an endless "refactoring" project.
Without a "prod-like" environment, there can be a resource contention that won't be solved by trunk-based development.
Moving to virtualization, like cloud, can be scary for companies because they "lose control".
A lot of places could do trunk-based development, but there is resistance like "people will break things" all the time. We have to switch first, experience some pain, but usually shorter than usual.
You might be fine with a well-functioning branching workflow. Why change? Is this the biggest problem to solve?
Fix the smallest "ouch" that the team feels at the moment...eventually trunk-based development will come up.
Shorten your branch lifetime. The shorter-lived branches are one step closer to trunk-based development.
Merge from your branches to trunk, frequently. Or perhaps, merge from trunk to your branch, frequently.
From the book "Code as a Crime Scene", they write that the area of the code that changes most frequently is probably the area that should be redesigned.
Use the Strangler Pattern to gradually improve the legacy codebase.
Have to build trust within the organization. Trust can be easier to gain with Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery automating all the steps.