Hopefully if you write code you are using git, if not go learn the basics of commit, pull, push, and pull request/merge request like... right now.

Assuming you are at least familiar with git then you probably work the same way I have since I've been using it.

  1. clone or initialize a repo
  2. checkout a branch, git checkout -b my-feature
  3. work on my-feature and when ready open a PR into main
  4. git pull main then git checkout -b another-feature
  5. etc...

What if you need to switch between branches for some reason? Often I'm jumping into projects with my co-workers left and right, and I'll have changes that I'm either working on or exploring for them. When it's time to switch branches I think there's more elegant ways than this but I've always done this:

  1. stash the current changes
  2. checkout out the relevant branch
  3. helped out
  4. re-checkout my original branch
  5. pop the stash

Now, that's not awful but I think worktrees will make this nicer for a few reasons!


Worktrees are linked branches that have their own directories somewhere on your computer. To checkout a branch you don't have to worry about stashing any changes, you just cd into the directory of that branch.

The branch can be literally anywhere - it doesn't have to be in the repo folder

Use Case

I've seen ThePrimeagean argue for worktrees for several reasons, see a YT video here

I'm entirely in Python at the moment, or working with projects that dont' have that kind of requirement (ie. this website). My reason for wanting worktrees is 3 fold.

Files that could have been gitignored but ain't

I have a .envrc I put in every project, but it's not gitignored for reasons that aren't relevant right now... If I switch branches I'll stash everything I have at the time, including my .envrc, but then if I forget to pop the stash and I move on and come back then my environment isn't active and I have to go find the stash, pop it, cd out, and then back in and honestly.... that sucks. Worktrees will let me have the .envrc in every branch, and if I checkout or switch to a new one, my personal branch is unaffected.

In my team's Kedro workflow we keep a specific directory, the conf directory at a different spot than the Kedro team has in their templates (the why is outside the scope here). The way I preserve every kedro utility for my own benefit is to symlink our conf to where the Kedro template expects it to be. But then everytime I stash changes I lose that symlink so I either just don't have it for the time being or I recreate it which is a hassle Worktrees will let me have that present and persistent on all my branches at once.


Because why not!? This workflow feels future-proof, and if my toolset changes down the line then having this worktree centric workflow might be helpful and I'm just prepping for that possibility!