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Best practices for community conversations on GitHub

You can use discussions to brainstorm with your team, and eventually move the conversation to an issue when you are ready to scope out the work.

Community conversations in GitHub Discussions

Since GitHub Discussions is an open forum, there is an opportunity to bring non-code collaboration into a project's repository and gather diverse feedback and ideas more quickly. You can help drive a productive conversation by:

  • Asking pointed questions and follow-up questions to garner specific feedback
  • Capture a diverse experience and distill it down to main points
  • Open an issue to take action based on the conversation, where applicable

For more information about opening an issue and cross-referencing a discussion, see "Opening an issue from a comment."

Learning about conversations on GitHub

You can create and participate in discussions, issues, and pull requests, depending on the type of conversation you'd like to have.

You can use GitHub Discussions to discuss big picture ideas, brainstorm, and spike out a project's specific details before committing it to an issue, which can then be scoped. GitHub Discussions is useful for teams if:

  • You are in the discovery phase of a project and are still learning which director your team wants to go in
  • You want to collect feedback from a wider community about a project
  • You want to keep bug fixes, feature requests, and general conversations separate

Issues are useful for discussing specific details of a project such as bug reports and planned improvements. For more information, see "About issues." Pull requests allow you to comment directly on proposed changes. For more information, see "About pull requests" and "Commenting on a pull request."

On your team's page, you can use team discussions for conversations that span across projects or repositories and don't belong in a specific issue or pull request. Instead of opening an issue in a repository to discuss an idea, you can include the entire team by having a conversation in a team discussion. For more information, see "About team discussions."

Following contributing guidelines

Before you open a discussion, check to see if the repository has contributing guidelines. The CONTRIBUTING file includes information about how the repository maintainer would like you to contribute ideas to the project.

For more information, see "Setting up your project for healthy contributions."

Next steps

To continue learning about GitHub Discussions and quickly create a discussion for your community, see "Quickstart for GitHub Discussions."

Further reading