New "Set Up Project" functionality is worse than previous functionality, looking for work-arounds

I want to provide some feedback and look for a workaround on the new “Set Up Project” functionality. The new “auto set up” functionality has broken our previous flow for setting up new repositories. I cannot seem to find a way to get my intended behavior with the new flow.

To set the scene, previously I did the following:

  1. Before setting up the CircleCI workflows, I would make a simple commit into our “main” branch, such as a simple
  2. Then I would make and push to an “initial” branch that would include my first round of code implementation and include my .circleci/config.yaml file
  3. Then I would go to the CircleCI UI, find my new repo, and go through the “Set Up Project” wizard.
  4. Here I had a great experience: CircleCI would ask me to point it to a branch that had a circleCI yaml file, and I would pick “initial”. Immediately I would get a workflow started in my initial branch.

This would let me confirm that my workflow was working as expected. Then I could put my initial branch up for a PR review with my team, get approvals, then merge into main.

In my frank opinion, the new Set Up routine is a) putting the cart in front of the horse and b) trying to do too much. It seems to try and run some “analyze-my-code” and “example” workflows that fail because I have no .circleci/config.yaml file present in my main branch. Why would I want to commit code to my main branch (ie my .circleci/config.yaml file) before testing it in a feature branch? Now I have to blindly commit circleCI config code to my main branch before testing it? It doesn’t make sense to me.

It would be one thing if there was an “advanced” option where I could circumvent the new “automatic” tool but I cannot seem to find such a flow. When I go to the pipeline page for my new repo, even though I have my “initial” branch pushed to bitbucket, it’s not visible in the branches list. Because of this, I can’t trigger a pipeline on the “initial” branch. It seems like I’m stuck merging code to main before it’s been tested.

At the very least my request would be to find a workaround to my problem. At most, I feel you should provide the previous functionality since it worked very well and was very flexible. I understand the desire to make things simpler, but you’ve dumbed down the process to a point where I have no agency and I have to change my workflow for zero benefit.

Thanks for reading this and hope that I get a response!

To add to the frustrations, your “Getting Started” guide is not up to date. Perhaps I have been chosen for an AB test? :slight_smile:

Hi @bdmacnee, I am the product manager who owns this new functionality. First of all, I want to say thank you for sharing your feedback, I really appreciate the perspective. We’re constantly looking for ways to simplify complicated things for our users, and starting a new project from scratch was one area that we got consistent feedback from users that it felt more complex than it needed to be.

This is indeed a gradual rollout, so that’s why the “Getting Started” guide has not been fully updated. Instead, I added a note right at the top that says that some users may get a new experience until we decided whether to move forward with this new experience or not.

The only workaround for now would be to include in your default branch a basic .circleci/config.yml file. This will signal to CircleCI that it should not automatically create a .circleci/config.yml when you click the “Set up project” button. You should be able to trigger pipelines on pushes to your “initial” branch…that sounds like a bug could you send me a link to your pipelines page so I can take a look? sebastian @ is my email.

I will also note that I am actively evaluating the efficacy of this new experience for new projects created by existing users and there is a good chance that it is rolled back until we have a more flexible option. I’ll let you know when there are any updates.

I really appreciate the response. I will send you an email and we can discuss there further.

@bdmacnee we have updated the experience for existing users that are creating new projects to be what it was before (“Fast/Faster/Fastest” options).

cc @rit1010

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