Release Flow: How We Do Branching on the VSTS Team

App Center Team

Whenever I talk to somebody about Git and version control, one question always comes up:

How do you do your branching at Microsoft?

And there’s no one answer to this question. Although we’ve been moving everybody in the company into one engineering system, standardizing on Git hosted in Visual Studio Team Services, what we haven’t done is move everybody into the same branching and development model.

Some teams — like Windows — have kept a branching strategy that is similar to the one that they’ve been using for many years. It’s hard to argue with this approach, they’ve got a lot of tooling to support it, and the developers have institutional knowledge about how things move between branches. Moving a team that big to Git was challenging enough — you can only boil so many oceans at the same time.

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