The Situation

A developer (developer A) on your team commited to a branch you are working off of (staging in this case), and you did not want the commits on staging yet, as they were not ready for release. You accidently pulled, merged, and pushed (because you are an idiot and didnt catch it) and now you have polluted the global, remote staging branch.

How do you remove the series of commits?

The Solution (non-conventional)

First, assuming you are sitting on the polluted staging branch locally (run git branch), create a new branch called old_staging, branching off of staging:

git checkout -b old_staging

Now all the commits your about to blow away are save locally at least. Next, find the last commmit (use git log on staging that was not polluted (basically the last commit before developer A’s commits). Use that git hash to reset HEAD

git reset --hard <LAST GOOD HASH>

Now, blow away his changes, but make sure he knows you’re doing it so he can save them locally also.

git push -f

Now your remote is no longer polluted, but any changes you made since are gone, but that's easy to fix now also, just use `git cherry-pick` to pull them over into your branch

git cherry-pick <NEW-HASH1>
git cherry-pick <NEW-HASH2>
git cherry-pick <NEW-HASH3>

Finally, push your changes up to remote

git push

Boom - you’ve solved your problem, in a somewhat non-conventional way.

Disclaimer: you might only want to do this if:

  1. Your team is very small
  2. You own the company