Draft Pull Requests

Also known as: When is the right time to ask for early technical feedback?

I was recently having a remote conversation over Slack with a team member talking about their progress on building a new component for our Design System.

They were wondering when would be a good time to open an initial work in progress draft pull request for the new component and mentioned:

“I’m already going back and forth about the API”

To this I exclaimed:

This is exactly the time to open a draft pull request!

That was only slightly accurate, the right time to start asking for feedback is as soon as you have a partially formed idea, as soon as it is fresh in your mind and you have a roughly clear vision of how to put that plan into motion.

The second best time to ask for feedback on a technical challenge is when you are at a crossroads and are debating between a few different paths and can’t determine how to proceed.

Draft Pull Requests are an excellent format for receiving early feedback on any particular work, they can help provide context and start a discussion with reviewers on a complex change to better indicate where you plan on going, and they can also serve as a great way to collect early technical feedback.