Streamline your Pull Request Management: a Fine Blend of Human and Automation

Effective pull request management is essential for maintaining a smooth and efficient development workflow. From the initial review to the final merge, every step in the process plays a crucial role in ensuring code quality, collaboration, and timely delivery. In this blog post, we will explore best practices and tools to streamline your pull request management, covering the key stages of the process: Pull Request Review, Pull Request Update, Pull Request Test, and Pull Request Merge.

I. Pull Request Review: the Human Part

The pull request review phase is critical for ensuring the quality of code before it is merged into the main branch.

Code review is a stage where human skills and knowledge are irreplaceable.

Despite recent technological advances, particularly in AI, only human intelligence can contextualize and diagnose a Pull Request today.

However, while human intelligence remains unrivaled for the time being, it is not always the most available, which is why this review phase represents a very common bottleneck in software teams.

This may be due to an excessive workload, a lack of suitable tools, or a need to reorganize.

Code Review: Best Practices and Tools

In this section, we're going to share our tips with you, as well as a few tools that you might find useful for optimizing the review of your pull requests.At the end of this section, we'll take the opportunity to focus in particular on a tool that intelligently combines people, communication and technology:

Establish clear and consistent guidelines:

  • Define coding standards and conventions to ensure consistent code quality.
  • Encourage reviewers to provide specific and actionable feedback.
  • Implement a checklist for reviewers to ensure all necessary aspects are covered.

Foster a collaborative environment:

  • Encourage open and respectful communication between reviewers and contributors.
  • Use comment threads and inline annotations to provide feedback directly on the code.
  • Leverage video conferencing or chat tools for real-time discussions when needed as Slack, Zoom, or GitHub Discussion.

Leverage code review tools:

  • Version control systems like GitLab, GitHub, or Bitbucket provide built-in review features.
  • Consider static code analysis tools such as ESLint or SonarQube to automate code quality checks.

At the crossroads between the implementation of appropriate tools and an environment conducive to collaboration, we find Pullpo PR Channels.

While it is indeed an automation tool, it is first and foremost a means of encouraging the development team to collaborate.

When a pull request needs to be reviewed, automatically creates a slack channel dedicated to this pull request, letting stakeholders communicate effectively. This reduces the time needed to review and potentially correct the pull request.

II. Pull Request Update, Test, and Merge: the Automation Part

Once approved, pull request management can be automated to a great extent, from updating to testing and merging.

Of course, all these actions can be performed by hand, but you'd gain little and lose a lot of time in the process.

What's more, certain tasks, such as rebasing a PR, bring no added value, only frustration.

Here's what you need to optimize your workflow.

1️. An excellent, reliable, and automated test suite

2. A good CI tool

3. A Merge Queue

An Excellent, Reliable, and Automated Test Suite

A robust test suite is the backbone of any software development project. It ensures that your code is functional, stable, and free from regressions. To optimize your workflow, it is essential to have an excellent, reliable, and automated test suite in place.

✅ Test Coverage and Reliability. A comprehensive suite of tests should cover all critical aspects of your application. It should include unit tests, integration tests, and end-to-end tests, aiming to validate different scenarios and edge cases. By having reliable tests in place, you can catch and address bugs early, reducing the chances of issues slipping into production.

✅ Automation for Efficiency. Manually running tests is time-consuming and prone to errors. Automating your test suite allows you to run tests consistently and frequently, ensuring that you catch any issues promptly. This automation can be achieved through test frameworks like Selenium, Jest, or PyTest, coupled with CI/CD pipelines.

✅ Continuous Testing. Integrating your test suite with your CI tool allows for continuous testing. Every code change triggers an automatic test run, providing instant feedback on the impact of the change. This facilitates rapid iteration, faster feedback loops, and better collaboration within the development team.

A Good CI Tool

A CI tool acts as the central hub for your development workflow. It orchestrates the entire CI process, including building, testing, and deploying your application. Here's why having a good CI tool is crucial for workflow optimization:

✅ Seamless integration. A good CI tool seamlessly integrates with your code repository, allowing it to monitor changes and trigger builds automatically. This integration eliminates the need for manual intervention, reducing human error and saving valuable development time.

✅ Build automation. CI tools automate the process of building your application from source code. They handle dependencies, compilation, and packaging, ensuring a consistent and reproducible build environment. Automated builds help catch compilation errors early and enable fast feedback on code changes.

✅ Test integration. A robust CI tool integrates seamlessly with your automated test suite, triggering tests upon every code change. It collects and presents test results, allowing developers to identify and fix issues quickly. This integration ensures that your tests are run consistently and in a controlled environment.

A Merge Queue

A merge queue plays a crucial role in managing code changes and maintaining code quality.

This is how a merge queue, such as Mergify, works and why it is an essential tool for workflow optimization:

1. Automatic Rebase. Each of your PR embedded in the queue is automatically updated before being tested.

It means that the merge queue will make sure that each PR in the queue is up-to-date by merging the main branch into the feature branch.

2️. Test and CI Trigger. Now, it’s time for your updated PR  to be tested. A merge queue will trigger your CI tool to run all your tests. This way it ensures your PR is always fully tested right before being merged.

3️. AutoMerge. Once all the tests and checks pass, the merge queue will merge your changes automatically into your targeted branch.


Optimizing your pull request management from review to merge is crucial for maintaining a streamlined and efficient development process. By following the best practices and leveraging the right tools, you can enhance code quality, collaboration, and overall productivity. Ensure your team is equipped with the knowledge and resources necessary to manage pull requests effectively and deliver high-quality code.