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🔗 The 11 Types Of Toxic Pull Requests

In the world of software delivery, pull requests are at the heart of collaboration between many engineering teams. Yet, while PRs are pivotal for ensuring code quality and fostering collective input, they've also become the leading bottleneck in developer workflows.

Poorly crafted or mismanaged pull requests can spell disaster for productivity. LinearB's Engineering Metrics Benchmarks study analyzed the work of 2,000 dev teams and 4.5 million code branches, and found:

  • The average cycle time for a piece of work (first commit to deployment) is 7 days.

  • Half of all PRs are idle (e.g., no one is actively working on them) for at least 50% of their lifespan.

  • Cycle time and idle time doubled for pull requests of 200 lines of code compared to pull requests with 100 lines of code.

Having pinpointed this significant dip in developer productivity, researchers have uncovered the root of these subpar performance indicators.

Based on qualitative and quantitative analyses, developers and data scientists have identified four primary issues in PR management and 11 common types of pull requests that are particularly detrimental to workflow efficiency.

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