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How to Implement Best Practices in your Software Development Workflow?

In the fast-paced and ever-evolving world of software development, adopting best practices is essential to ensure efficient and high-quality results. Best practices encompass a set of guidelines and methodologies that have been proven to yield optimal outcomes. 

However, more than merely recognizing these best practices is required; you need to integrate them into your development workflow to reap their benefits truly. This article will guide you through identifying best practices, converting them into rules, and implementing them into an automated workflow to be sure they are applied. 

Identify Best Practices

The first step in implementing best practices is identifying the most relevant ones for your development team and project. There are many different best practices out there, so it’s essential to focus on the ones that will significantly impact your team’s productivity and the quality of your software. After all, usefulness comes first. 

As a first step, every organization should be inspired by industry standards. Indeed, they provide a very good basis for reflection. After all, why reinvent hot water? Once these standards have been identified, they then need to be taken up, modified and specified so that they can be adapted to a particular activity and its context.

Engage your development team in discussions to identify the most critical areas where best practices are needed. 

Some of the most critical best practices include:

  • Use version control. This will help you track changes to your code and prevent merge conflicts.
  • Write unit tests. Unit tests will help you ensure that your code is working as expected.
  • Conduct code reviews. Code reviews will help you find and fix bugs before they make it into production.
  • Automate your builds and deployments with a CI/CD pipeline. This will help you release your software more quickly and reliably.

Convert Best Practices into Technical Rules

Once you’ve identified the best practices essential to your team, you must convert them into rules. 

Some best practices can touch on the human and managerial side, while others will be related to quality standards, tools, etc. At first glance, they always remain very theoretical. 

To be implemented, they need to be converted into more actionable rules. These rules should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) to effectively guide your team in adhering to best practices.

These rules define how your team should develop, test, and deploy software.
For example, if one of your identified best practices is “perform regular code reviews,” you can convert it into a technical rule: “All pull requests must undergo code review before merging, and at least two team members should approve the changes.”

Implement your Technical  Rules

Once you’ve converted your best practices into concrete rules, you must add them to your software development workflow. How should you do it?

Manual enforcement of rules can be time-consuming and prone to errors. However, some rules have to be implemented by hand, such as reviews and unit tests. There’s no way around it. 

For other rules, those that lend themselves well to automation, it is highly beneficial to automate the enforcement of these rules.

When it comes to CI/CD approach, there are many different tools that you can use to implement your rules via your workflow.

Among them, there is one popular tool: Mergify, a continuous integration, and continuous delivery (CI/CD) tool that can help you automate your build, test, and deployment process.
Mergify can be used to enforce a variety of technical rules.

For example, you can use Mergify to require that all code changes be reviewed before they can be merged into the main codebase. You can also use Mergify to require that all builds be automated and that all deployments be approved by a manager.

Enforce Rules through your Automated Workflow

To do so, you need a tool. Lucky you are since we discovered a great one: Mergify.
Mergify is a powerful tool that can help you automate your software development workflow and enforce best practices. This GitHub app allows you to define rules for pull request management automatically. It integrates seamlessly with your GitHub repositories and applies your predefined rules whenever pull requests are created or updated. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to implement best practices using Mergify:

  1. Define Rules: Once installed, create a configuration file (.mergify.yml) in your repository to define the rules based on the identified best practices. For instance, you can set rules to require code reviews, automated testing, and branch protection.
 - name: default
     - check-success = mycijob
     - "#approved-reviews-by >= 1"
     - check-success = mycijob-extra


With this configuration, a pull request will be included in the “default” merge queue if the “mycijob” check passes and it has been approved by a reviewer. Then, once in the merge queue, the PR will be merged automatically if the “mycijob-extra” check passes.

  1. Workflow Automation: Mergify automatically enforces the rules defined in the configuration file. When a pull request is opened or updated, Mergify will evaluate the practices and take action accordingly. For example, it can automatically add labels, assign reviewers, or merge approved pull requests.
  2. Merge Queue: Relying on a merge queue, you can define merge actions and conditions. For example, you can request that each Pull Request be updated before testing and merging. These rules, written in stone or your yaml file, ensure the stability of your main branch while minimizing your CI costs.
  3. Monitor and Adjust: Regularly review Mergify’s actions and monitor how the rules affect your development process. Make adjustments to fine-tune the workflow and ensure it aligns with your team’s needs.

Mergify is a powerful tool that can help you improve the quality of your software and your team’s productivity while easing the onboarding of newcomers. If you’re looking for a way to automate your software development workflow and enforce best practices, Mergify is an excellent option.


Implementing best practices in your software development workflow is crucial for delivering high-quality software efficiently.
By identifying best practices, converting them into rules, and automating your workflow with tools like Mergify, you can create a streamlined and efficient development process that maximizes productivity and minimizes errors. 
Embracing best practices will enhance your team’s performance and contribute to your software projects’ overall success.