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Discussion on: The Contentious Art of Pull Requests

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Raphael Habereder • Edited on

First off, thank you for the detailed response!

Depending on your tolerance for confrontation, this scenario can indeed be tricky. I know how I'd deal with it, but most people aren't as comfortable as me when it comes to pissing people off.

I am usually a very direct person. This is very uncomfortable for others, but sometimes I do think to get my point across it's necessary to skip the sugarcoating. Though I have been told to "dial it back a little", which I am failing most of the time.

The first question I have is: Are you simply leaving "comments"? Or are the comments entered after you've clicked "Start a review"? I'm asking because if you "Start a review", the comments will display as needing to be resolved. But if you haven't started a review, your comments are more like side notes.

Currently, we are using bitbucket, which IMHO, is heavily lacking in that regard. It seems the moment you are assigned as an approver, the review has officially started, but can, at any point, be overwritten by the one that created the repo. In my case, that's Mr. Merge-Happy. It might also be some very weird repo settings, which I can't view as a contributor.
What might be important information is, that I explicitly marked the PR as "needs amendment", or whatever bitbuckets English translation for the yellow "not good enough yet" button actually is.

locking down merge rights can be problematic if, say, only one person can merge - but that person's not in the office at the moment.

To me, it looks like this is the case at the moment.

Unfortunately, there is no real "lead" in this project, the higher-ups decided "let's change it up for once! You have a very flat hierarchy, you duke it out amongst yourselves." I'm not sure what else to expect but pure anarchy from this approach. If there is anyone we could consider "lead", it would probably be the dev in question. Which makes this a rather spicy topic for a talk with the manager.

I did have a talk with the dev, because it ticked me off so bad, the response was basically "if the PR is still open after 3 days, I'll just merge it. Rule of cool."
So, as much as I would like to make use of some of the great points you made, I think with that kind of attitude, pretty much every discussion would be a waste of time.

That leads me to the conclusion that the passive-aggressive approach might be the only valid way, if my monologue about "collaboration means working together, not against each other" shows no effect in the near future.
Thankfully, as an external contractor, I can just go on vacation for a few weeks and watch the mayhem unfold from the outside.

Your feedback is very much appreciated, I learned a lot from your response!