I’ve been around software guys for years and have heard the phrase pull request long enough that I was embarrassed I didn’t exactly know what it meant. I had a general idea, but not one that was clear in my mind. I also knew that this was one of those technical questions where I would grok it better if I talked to someone in person. So, I found one of the smartest guys in the building when few people were around, drew out a kanban board (above) and asked him how a pull request was done.
I got my answer, but to my surprise when I searched for images none of them had anything to do with kanban boards. They viewed pull requests as off-track activities that needed to get pulled back into the main branch.
That’s interesting, I thought, because that understanding means that items on the main branch wouldn’t go through the review process that is a pull request. That doesn’t jive with the reality that I’ve heard pull requests being used on main branches and appendages of software development for some time. I think the definition needs to be updated, and the diagrams need some competition. So, here’s my contribution. It’s a kanban board view of a pull request.