As you may have seen I recently created a post asking for ways to increase the Bus Factor of a project.There were some great responses and it prompted my team to adopt a process where when submitting a code review you select all the other developers as reviewers (not every developer has to approve the request though as this could get tiresome). This should help with knowledge sharing across projects and developers within the team.
A common, and related problem amongst teams of developers working on a project together is keeping everyone in the loop when something changes within the project, be it a code, design or devops related change.
A possible solution I've thought of is sort of a changelog, but for developers not end users. The idea being that there would be a changelog.md file in the root of each project which gets updated whenever a feature is merged to the master branch. The message should be simple but convey anything that may be relevant for a future developer to understand.
For instance, recently a developer made a change to our docker setup and updated the readme.md to reflect this change, however upon picking up the project to add a new feature I didn't check the readme.md and my environment wouldn't work. Rather than looking through commit history or disturbing another developer I could simply have looked at the changelog.md file and seen the following:
31/07/2018 - Now use docker-sync for handling storage in project, details of what you need to change in README.md
This simple message tells me all I need to know before I pick up the project again and get involved. This could be seen as duplication of commit messages but i often find commit messages offer quite technical details of what has changed which isn't always important when you are just jumping back into a project, especially if you aren't touching the part in those commits, however it can be handy to get a one sentence overview of what has changed in more of a high level way.
A colleague showed me this and it seems like this is spot on with what I had in mind: https://keepachangelog.com/en/1.0.0/
What do you think?