How to add source control to your powershell module

In my last post, I went through my process of how I start a new Powershell module. I ended the post with having created the module folder structure and developed the first cmdlet to connect to the Meraki Dashboard APIv1.
If you haven’t checked out the post you should definitely give it a read How to get started developing a powershell module

In this post i will go through the process of adding the powershell module to source control on GitHub.

Why use source control?

Source control is a vital component when developing any kind of software. Together with a source code management system such as GitHub, it can provide tools for tracking your code, performing code revisions, backup your code to a remote repository, and revert back to previous versions of your code. If you are working together with a team it is also a perfect tool for collaborating with your colleagues on the code.

Prerequisites

To follow along with this guide you will need to have the following two things in place:

Git installed on your system

  • You can read the docs on how to install git here

An account on Github

  • You can create an account here

First time git setup

If you haven’t already configured your GitHub account on your system, you will need to do so. To do this you can run the following two commands:

git config --global user.name "John Doe"
git config --global user.email "johndoe@example.com"

If you want to read more on initial configurations for git you can read the git docs.

Once you have set the username and email for your account, you are ready to initialize your module folder into source control.

Creating the repository on GitHub

The first thing I always do is creating a new repository in Github. Click on your profile picture in the right corner, and then click on “Your repositories”

Github

Then once on your Repositories site, click on the New button

Github

Now because I have already made my repository with my code on my local machine I will not initialize the repository on Github, instead, i will just create the Github repository and then initialize it locally on my machine.

Initialise github repo

Once you click on “Create Repository” you will be provided with a guide on how to initialize your local module.

In this case i will create a new repository from the commandline:

Initialise github repo

Initialising the repository from the commandline

first, I will open my Powershell terminal and navigate to the root of my module directory.
from there I will run the following commands to initialize the repository

echo "# SCPSMeraki" >> README.md
git init
git add README.md
git commit -m "first commit"
git branch -M main
git remote add origin https://github.com/ScriptingChris/SCPSMeraki.git
git push -u origin main

Pushing your code to GitHub

To push the code to Github you can simply run the following commands from the root of your module:

git add .
git commit -m "push all the code"
git push

Developing in different branches

One of the top points of using source control is the ability to create multiple branches to develop on. A branch is like a complete copy of your entire repository, this gives you the ability to develop and mess with the entire code base without actually affecting any of your code in the “main” branch. So if you can always just delete the branch and create a new branch from the main branch.

So usually I will create a branch named “dev” make the changes to my code, for example, create a new cmdlet to the module or do some bug fixes. Once I am ready to actually add the code into the main branch I will create what’s called a Pull Request.

Creating a new branch

Creating a new branch in the terminal is as easy as running the following command in the terminal:

git checkout -b dev

To see which branches are available you can run the following command:

git branch --list
* dev
  main
(END)

The branch with the ‘*’ is the current selected branch.

To change to the main branch again you can run the following:

git checkout main

Creating a Pull Request

There are two ways you can easily combine your code from the dev branch into the main branch.

The first way is through the command line. Make sure to first switch to the main branch and afterward merge the dev branch into the main branch.

git checkout main
git merge dev

The second way is to create a Pull Request. This way you can do a code review and see all the changes you are merging into the main branch.

To best explain how a GitHub Pull Request works i strongly recommend you read the GitHub Docs – Pull Request

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