Is It a Recommended/Best Practice to Have a Code Freeze?

Problem scenario
You want to have a release. You are concerned that if new code changes are made to the main branch of the relevant repository that the upcoming production release will have a problem. You are not sure if you should allow changes to take place or if should you have a code freeze. Is it a best/recommended practice to have a code freeze going into the release weekend?

Answer
Maybe. It is not clear. For the "Yes" code freezes are recommended:

  • The DevOps Handbook (on page 150) refers to a problem associated with allowing code changes to happen right before a production release; the solution ended up being that only emergency situations would allow for a change to the code close to the production release.
  • This external site explains how a code freeze can help during critical ecommerce shopping days. It says "[a] code freeze is the perfect time to test and optimize to drive higher sales."

For the "No" code freezes are not recommended:

For mixed reviews on code freezes, see these postings:

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