GitHub is a great tool for tracking and organizing issues and other project-related information. It’s easy to set up, and it works well with a variety of projects. But it can also be challenging to maintain a consistent and helpful workflow with multiple team members using different conventions and formatting. Luckily, GitHub’s issue templates can help you standardize your process and avoid common problems like unorganized data and confusing issue names.
The first step in creating a GitHub issue template is to create a new folder named ISSUE_TEMPLATE. This folder lives under your repo’s.github directory, which you can find on the left navigation panel of your repository’s page.
Next, you’ll need to add a description to your new issue template to help you and your team understand how to use it and what you expect from it. This description is used when teams create new issues with the template, so it’s important that you make it descriptive and easy to find!
In addition to a description, you’ll need to provide an about section that explains the purpose and benefits of the issue template. This will appear when teams create new issues with the template, and it’ll help your team and contributors get oriented to the use case.
Once you’ve added a description, you can preview and edit the template. Once you’re satisfied, you can push the changes to your repo’s code.
Creating an Issue Template
The easiest way to create a GitHub issue template is to follow the steps below:
To start, you’ll need a free GitHub account that isn’t tied to your current employer. You can use a personal account, which is free for anyone, or you can create an organization account to have full access to your entire company’s repositories.
GitHub has a number of issue templates that are automatically added to your project when you create a new one, and these are a good starting point for you to get started with. These templates are designed by GitHub engineers and feature a range of fields that you can customize to match your own needs.
These issue templates have all the basics in place, but you can still create custom labels for your projects to track if you need to break them down into smaller pieces of work. You can use labels to mark non-triaged issues (for example, for a specific part of your app), status labels that indicate which issues have been fixed or not, and app labels that specify the source of an issue.
Labels are a useful way to track your development progress by breaking your project down into subsystems or areas of responsibility. Each person responsible for a specific area of your software can then search for issues that have been labeled to that role and remove the label as they complete the task.
It’s a good idea to back up your GitHub issues periodically, so that you can easily revert any changes that have been made or are pending. There are a variety of free scripts available that can do this, but it’s worth running them manually as often as possible to ensure you have all your issues in order.