Contributing guidelines

We thank you in advance 👍 🎉 for taking the time to contribute, whether with code or with ideas, to the Local EGA cryptor project.

AGILE project management

We use Zenhub, the Agile project management within Github.

You should first install it if you want to contribute or just follow the project progress. You can also use the Zenhub app if you wish.

In short, the AGILE method helps developers organize themselves:

  • They decide about the tasks (not the managers)
  • Main Tasks should be divided into smaller manageable ones. The big tasks are called Epics.
  • We have a given period (called Sprint) to work on a chosen task. Here, a Sprint spans across 2 weeks.
  • We review the work done at the end of the Sprint, closing issues or pushing them into the next Sprint. Ideally, they are sub-divided in case they encounter obstacles.
  • We have a short meeting every weekday at 9:30 AM. We call it a standup and we use it to keep everyone on point, and identify quickly blockers. It’s not a lengthy discussion. We ask:
    • What did you get done yesterday (or last week, last month, etc.)?
    • What are you working on now?
    • What isn’t going well, and on what could you use help?


  1. Create an issue on Github, and talk to the team members on the NBIS local-ega Slack channel. You can alternatively pick one already created.


Contact Jonas Hagberg to request access if you are not part of that channel already.

  1. Assign yourself to that issue.

  2. Discussions on how to proceed about that issue take place in the comment section on that issue, beforehand.

    The keyword here is beforehand. It is usually a good idea to talk about it first. Somebody might have already some pieces in place, we avoid unnecessary work duplication and a waste of time and effort.

  3. Work on it (on a fork, or on a separate branch) as you wish. That’s what git is good for. This GitHub repository follows the coding guidelines from NBIS.

    Name your branch as you wish and prefix the name with:

    • feature/ if it is a code feature
    • hotfix/ if you are fixing an urgent bug

    Use comments in your code, choose variable and function names that clearly show what you intend to implement.

    Use git rebase -i in order to rewrite your history, and have meaningful commits. That way, we avoid the ‘Typo’, ‘Work In Progress (WIP)’, or ‘Oops…forgot this or that’ commits.

    Limit the first line of your git commits to 72 characters or less.

  4. Create a Pull Request (PR), so that your code is reviewed by the admins on this repository.

    That PR should be connected to the issue you are working on. Moreover, the PR:

    • should use Estimate=1,
    • should be connected to:
      • an Epic,
      • a Milestone and
      • a User story
      • … or several.

    N.B: Pull requests are done to the dev branch. PRs to master are rejected.

  5. Selecting a review goes as follows: Pick one main reviewer. It is usually one that you had discussions with, and is somehow connected to that issue. If this is not the case, pick several reviewers.

    Note that, in turn, the main reviewer might ask another reviewer for help. The approval of all reviewers is compulsory in order to merge the PR. Moreover, the main reviewer is the one merging the PR, not you.

    Find more information on the NBIS reviewing guidelines.

  6. It is possible that your PR requires changes (because it creates conflicts, doesn’t pass the integrated tests or because some parts should be rewritten in a cleaner manner, or because it does not follow the standards, or you’re requesting the wrong branch to pull your code, etc…) In that case, a reviewer will request changes and describe them in the comment section of the PR.

    You then update your branch with new commits. We will see the PR changes faster if you ping the reviewer in the slack channel.

    Note that the comments in the PR are not used to discuss the how and why of that issue. These discussions are not about the issue itself but about a solution to that issue.

    Recall that discussions about the issue are good and prevent duplicated or wasted efforts, but they take place in the comment section of the related issue (see point 4), not in the PR.

    Essentially, we don’t want to open discussions when the work is done, and there is no recourse, such that it’s either accept or reject. We think we can do better than that, and introduce a finer grained acceptance, by involving beforehand discussions so that everyone is on point.

Did you find a bug?

  • Ensure that the bug was not already reported by searching under Issues.
  • Do not file it as a plain GitHub issue (we use the issue system for our internal tasks (see Zenhub)). If you’re unable to find an (open) issue addressing the problem, open a new one. Be sure to prefix the issue title with [BUG] and to include:
    • a clear description,
    • as much relevant information as possible, and
    • a code sample or an (executable) test case demonstrating the expected behaviour that is not occurring.
  • If possible, use the following template to report a bug.

Thanks again,
/NBIS System Developers