Creating and Switching Between Branches

In software development, using branches is a common practice to isolate different features or bug fixes from the main codebase


Let's imagine a scenario where you are working on a web application and have been assigned a task to develop a new feature. The application currently has a stable version deployed, and you want to work on the feature without impacting the live environment.

Let's demonstrating how to create a feature branch and switch to it:

  • Open your terminal or command prompt and navigate to the project directory where you have initialised Git.

  • Before creating a new branch, it's always a good practice to update your local repository with the latest changes from the remote repository. Use the following command to fetch the latest changes:

git fetch
  • Once you have the latest changes, it's time to create a new branch. In this case, we'll create a branch called "feature-branch" to work on our new feature. Execute the following command to create the branch:

git branch feature-branch

This command creates a new branch named "feature-branch" based on the current branch you are on (usually the main branch).

  • To switch to the newly created branch, use the following command:

git checkout feature-branch

Now you are on the "feature-branch" and ready to start working on your new feature.

Highlighting the benefits of isolating development in branches

Working on a feature branch provides several benefits, including:

  • Isolation: By creating a branch, you can develop and test your feature independently without impacting the stability of the main branch or the live environment.

  • Collaboration: Branches allow multiple developers to work on different features simultaneously, enabling parallel development and reducing conflicts between code changes.

  • Versioning: Each branch represents a different version of your codebase. This allows you to easily switch between branches to compare or revert changes.

  • Code review: With branches, you can submit your feature for code review separately from the main branch. This promotes collaboration and helps ensure the quality of the codebase.

  • Easy rollback: If an issue arises during development, you can easily switch back to the main branch or another stable branch, ensuring that your codebase is always in a deployable state.

It's essential to regularly merge the changes from the main branch into your feature branch to keep it up to date with the latest codebase as it reduces the chances of conflicts and makes the eventual merge back into the main branch smoother.

Last updated