Commit Messages

Fellow Needmore alumnus Dan Manchester recently wrote about the importance of good commit messages. He provides some quality pointers that seem subtle but significantly improve a project’s history.

Rule 2: Commits should start with a verb.

Specifically, every commit message should start with a present tense action verb. If we think of a commit message as a sentence with the implied subject of “This commit…” , it is our role to write the rest of that sentence…

Having these verbs at the start of commits not only makes them grammatically uniform, it also makes scanning through commit logs easier.

Looking back on a few recent projects, I realize I don’t author commits consistently. Version control is tangential to the task at hand; using it well requires thoughtful communication and constant vigilance. I’m sure current and future teammates will be thankful for seeing even some of Dan’s techniques into practice on our projects.