My Git workflow for .NET-based projects

Published on Tuesday, June 28, 2011

When I was new to Git, it was very confusing for me to get up and running with how to deal with the command-line interface (if you're fancy and use a GUI, leave now). Once you do get the hang of it, it's super nice and fluid. I used to do terminal CVS at my last job so I'm not out of touch with using version control from a console.

Set up your .gitignore

Here's mine:

#OS junk files
[Tt]humbs.db
*.DS_Store

#Visual Studio files
*.[Oo]bj
*.exe
*.pdb
*.user
*.aps
*.pch
*.vspscc
*.vssscc
*_i.c
*_p.c
*.ncb
*.suo
*.tlb
*.tlh
*.bak
*.[Cc]ache
*.ilk
*.log
*.lib
*.sbr
*.sdf
*.docstates
ipch/
obj/
[Bb]in
[Dd]ebug*/
[Rr]elease*/
[Pp]ublish*/
Ankh.NoLoad

#Tooling
_ReSharper*/
*.resharper
[Tt]est[Rr]esult*

#Project files
[Bb]uild/

#Subversion files
.svn

# Office Temp Files
~$*

# Custom
*.private
readme.html

At the end, you can add whatever you want. For some projects, I store API keys in a .private file. You might want to as well.

Init your repo

The first command you'll need to execute is git init. This will make whatever folder you're in a new Git repository (repo).

Kamran@Kamranicus /c/Projects/Contrib/.JSON
$ git init

You should then add all your files and commit them for an initial "base" version.

git add .
git commit -am "Initial project commit"

Because of your .gitignore file, Git will ignore all the unnecessary files .NET solutions tend to generate.

Set up a remote

If you're doing stuff on AppHarbor or GitHub, you'll need to add a "remote." This is just a remote Git repository you can associate with your local repository. You can have lots of remotes. I tend to have one or two.

git remote add https://kamranayub@github.com/<some url>

This information is usually provided by your remote site (GitHub has it when you create a new repo on the site).

Status, Add, Commit, Push

I do a lot of my projects on AppHarbor now. It's just a real nice workflow and I'll explain why.

I make changes to my .NET solution and when I'm ready to commit (usually after a feature or bug fix) my console command history looks like this:

git status
git add .
git commit -am "My commit message"
git push appharbor master

git status

This command will display what things you currently have pending and what changes are untracked. Use this to determine if you should not track a certain change (using git checkout -- <file>).

git add .

This command will add whatever "untracked" and modified changes you have currently pending to ready your commit. Deletes, adds, etc. usually are untracked. Git tracks modifications and renames. The . adds all files (relative to your current folder). You can be as specific or as generic as you want.

git commit -am [message]

This command commits your changes. The -am switch is for all changes (a) with a message (m). You can type -? to get a list of switches you might want to use. If you don't use the -a switch, your untracked changes may not be committed. If someone wants to explain why this is the case, I'd love to know (or I guess I could look it up). Whatever the reason is, use -am unless you know otherwise.

git push [remote] [branch]

This command will send a git push command to your remote server. In my case, it's appharbor. GitHub will usually tell you to add their remote as origin but you can name them whatever you want. I tend to have appharbor and appharbor-d for staging.

Once you push, your latest changes will be on the remote server. It is usually a good idea to wait to push until you have a stable release ready for your branch. It could be after one commit or after 10 commits.

Git pushin'

So now you know what a typical workflow is for my .NET development. If you're interested in file structure, check out my .JSON project.

About Kamran
I'm a technologist, speaker, and Pluralsight author and I specialize in building full-stack solutions with a focus on modern web technology and cloud native architecture.
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