Git and other version control systems give software developers the power to track, manage, and organize their code. As every developer and development team has different git workflows, we need to find a way to manage to make our collaboration smooth during the software development.


Organizations moving to Git from other version control systems may have difficulty identifying an effective workflow, a suitable git workflow for your team depends on many things:

  • The number of developers working on one project
  • The complexity and scale of the project
  • The number of repos (i.e. mono or multiple) per project
  • The experience with git your developers have
  • The type of your git service (GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, …)
  • How you release your projects

This handbook is a guide for you to quickly master them.


Nowadays, software development teams encompass contributors from various backgrounds and experiences, and they’re likely to feel comfortable with a workflow they’ve used previously. However, there are many best practices for modern continuous software development, and they have been used in different popular open-source projects.

The main well-known workflows for git are:

  • Centralized Workflow
  • Feature Branch Workflow
  • Pull Request Workflow
  • Gitflow Workflow
  • GitHub Flow
  • GitLab Flow
  • Forking Workflow

We will explore each one of these workflows in detail here.

Centralized Workflow

The centralized workflow, as known as Basic Workflow, is a simple and straightforward approach to using Git. In this model, there is a single central repository with a “master” branch where all developers push their changes.


As its simplicity and reduced overhead, this workflow is quite suitable for simple projects, especially for those projects with only one contributor. With a single branch, developers can focus on making changes without the complexity of managing multiple branches.

Feature Branch Workflow

This workflow is almost the same as the centralized workflow, but, instead of committing directly on their local master branch, developers create a new branch every time they start work on a new feature.


Pull Request Workflow

In this workflow, you would use PR to lead the feature, but what’s PR?

PR, also known as Pull Request, is a dedicated forum for discussing the proposed feature. If there are any problems with the changes, teammates can post feedback in the pull request and even tweak the feature by pushing follow-up commits. All of this activity is tracked directly inside of the pull request.

The pull request workflow is centered around the concept of code reviews and collaboration. In this model, developers create branches for their work and submit pull requests when their changes are ready for review. Team members review the changes, provide feedback, and approve or request modifications before the changes are merged into the main branch.


Gitflow Workflow

Gitflow was presented by Vincent Driessen in the article A successful Git branching model in 2010 and looks like this.


It empowers teams to determine roles and responsibilities, set boundaries, and identify areas of improvement.

Here is the document of git-flow branching strategy:

Branch name for production releases: [master]
Branch name for "next release" development: [develop]

How to name your supporting branch prefixes?
Feature branches? [feature/]
Bugfix branches? [bugfix/]
Release branches? [release/]
Hotfix branches? [hotfix/]
Support branches? [support/]
Version tag prefix? []

We will keep 2 long-term branches, others are always short-term branches for feature, bugfix and so on.

For examples:

# Features
* feature/dark-theme-support
* feature/integrate-swagger
* feature/support-dark-theme
* ...

# Bugfix
* bugfix/more-gray-shades
* bugfix/patch-1
* bugfix/gray-on-blur-fix
* ...

# Hotfix
* hotfix/disable-endpoint-zero-day-exploit
* hotfix/increase-scaling-threshold
* ...

# Release
* release/v1.0.0
* release/myapp-1.01.123
* ...

GitHub Flow

GitHub-Flow is pretty simple and effective way to support continuous deployment and release, if our development teams are a small Agile team, and we have a single release version for our product for each repository, we can try to run teams this workflow.


GitLab Workflow

GitLab Flow is a simpler alternative to GitFlow and combines feature driven development and feature branches with issue tracking. With GitLab Flow, all features and fixes go to the main branch while enabling production and stable branches. GitLab Flow includes a set of best practices and guidelines to ensure software development teams follow a smooth process to ship features collaboratively.


Forking Workflow

The forking workflow is to emphasize on maintaining a clean and stable main repository, it is commonly used in open-source projects and encourages collaboration by allowing contributors to work independently. In this model, each developer forks the main repository, creating their own copy. They make changes in their fork and submit pull requests to the original repository when their work is complete.