Nits in Merge Request Feedback

Should I give nit comments in merge requests?

What is a "nit"?

In the context of a merge request, a "nit" is a type of comment. It is always a small thing. It probably doesn't matter. It's often stylistic.

Often it's given with a good attitude of helpfulness. Occasionaly it's given because someone has coded our pet peeve.

When to nit?

Should we add our nit comments to a merge request?

Maybe. I think it depends on context.

No, peer doing what he thinks is best

I like that multiple people see code as it goes to production. I don't like that it's viewed as a "request". We are peers on the same team. We both own the software we're working on. We each add to it, in our turn. If you think that's what's best, you shouldn't have to ask me to merge something. We should have ongoing communication about things we think are important that we need to agree on. It is better to have those conversations before code is done and ready to merge.

If someone has a specific question in a merge request, as in, "this is a request for comment", that seems very appropriate. It's that person saying, "I'm not sure about this. Will you take a look before I merge?" You're being asked for all thoughts related to the question at hand. Your personal comment filter is eased.

Yes, teaching

If you think that someone doesn't know something, you can take the opportunity of feedback in a merge request to share valuable information. This is given in the spirit of "Perhaps you didn't know this, but did you know that you can X?". This can be given to peers, juniors or superiors. Sharing learning should be done with humility and a desire to help. Even little things, nits, that matter little can be useful.

Maybe, everything is new

If you're on a team where you're trying to figure out something new and everyone is in a spirit of "let's figure this out together", there is more opportunity to add your voice, even in the small things, as the new approaches are figured out.

No, you see your pet peeve

Remember, if it's a nit, it's a small thing. Do you have pet peeves about small things? It's probably time to get over those. Can you have things that you believe are important that you give important push back on in a merge request? Yes. Those are not nits. Is it possible to elevate your nit-level pet peeve to important-level so that you can justify your comment? Yes, be careful.

If it's a small thing, let it go. This is easier to do on some days than other days.

If you really don't like it, and it's a small thing, follow it up later with another merge request of your own to make the small adjustments to things that keep bugging you.