Getting the Most Out of GitHub Issues

Each of Hack for LA’s GitHub project repositories (repos) use issues to track and organize ideas, enhancements, and tasks. All team members will use GitHub issues to communicate in our multifunctional teams.

When creating a new GitHub issue, the following tips will help you provide consistent formatting, a clear and concise overview, actionable tasks, explanatory resources, and resumé items to add value for all volunteers.

All GitHub Issues use markdown for formatting. View GitHub’s Mastering Markdown for a simple guide.

Issue Sections: Descriptions and Tips

Follow the recommendations below to create a useful end-to-end GitHub issue

You can either format with markdown text manually or using the text box toolbar


Describe what you’re working on —

For a start-to-finish issue, as in this case, choose a title that is generic enough to allow for all phases (research, ideation, design, development).

For an issue taking on only part of the workflow, be more declarative in what it covers (e.g. a research issue might be called “Determine Best Testing Library for Code Base”).


Clearly state the purpose of this issue in 2 lines or less.

Markdown draft: ### formats header

Final post


(if applicable)

If your issue relies on another issue’s completion first, link to the issue it is dependent on.

Markdown draft: [title](url) formats links

Final post


Formatted as a clickable checklist.

If this is the beginning of the task, this is most likely something to be researched and documented.

When the research is complete, what will happen next? Describe the steps in your checklist (broadly, if the research will change the details).

If the steps can be divided into tasks for more than one person, we recommend dividing it up into separate sections.

Markdown draft: - [ ] formats checklist

Final post

Final post with checkmarks


If there is a link with documentation that helps with this issue, provide the link(s) here.

Markdown draft

Final post


Specify how tasks can be listed in all assignees’ resumés to provide value for project volunteers, divided by roles.

Markdown draft

Final post


Select assignees to clarify who is working on specific issues and pull requests.

In the upper-right corner, click Assignees. To assign a user (including yourself), start typing their username and click their name when it appears.

Assign the issue to only one person at a time, by order of their tasks.


Select all relevant labels. See GitHub’s About Labels guide for more details.


Make sure your issue is added to your team’s Project Board, and properly triaged. Click here to learn more.

If the issue has been created but is not ready to assign, it should be set in the ice box.

If the issue has been created and is ready but not yet assigned to someone, it should be set in prioritized backlog.

When someone has been assigned to the issue, this should be set to in progress.


You can use milestones to track the progress of groups of issues or pull requests in a repository. Read more at GitHub’s About Milestones guide.



Don’t forget to preview your new issue before posting to make sure it’s formatted correctly.

Issue Template

Copy/paste the following markdown template text into your new GitHub issue and fill out using the guidelines above.

### Overview

### Action Items
- [ ]
- [ ]
- [ ]

### Resources/Instructions
[link title](link URL)

### Resume

UX Writing:
UI Mockup: