Why I prefer trunk-based development

Photo of a tree at the side of the river in Sevilla, Spain

These days, distributed version control systems like Git have "won the war" of version control. One of the arguments I used to hear when DVCSs were gaining traction was around how easy it is to branch and merge with a VCS like Git. However, I'm a big fan of Trunk-Based Development (TBD), and I want to tell you why.

With trunk-based development, all developers work on a single branch (e.g. 'main'). You might have read or heard Martin Fowler or Dave Farley talking about it. It was when I was working with Dave (around about the time that Git was rapidly becoming the "go-to" version control system) that I really saw the benefits of trunk-based development for the team, particularly in an environment that was pioneering Continuous Delivery - Dave was writing the book with Jez Humble while I worked with him.

In contrast, the branching model encourages developers to create separate branches for every feature, bug fix, or enhancement. Although branching may seem like a logical approach to isolate changes and reduce risk, several factors make me more comfortable with trunk-based development.

Continue reading "Why I prefer trunk-based development"