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Engineering Fundamentals Checklist

This checklist helps to ensure that our projects meet our Engineering Fundamentals.

Source Control

  • The default target branch is locked.
  • Merges are done through PRs.
  • PRs reference related work items.
  • Commit history is consistent and commit messages are informative (what, why).
  • Consistent branch naming conventions.
  • Clear documentation of repository structure.
  • Secrets are not part of the commit history or made public. (see Credential scanning)
  • Public repositories follow the OSS guidelines, see Required files in default branch for public repositories.

More details on source control

Work Item Tracking

  • All items are tracked in AzDevOps (or similar).
  • The board is organized (swim lanes, feature tags, technology tags).

More details on backlog management


  • Unit tests cover the majority of all components (>90% if possible).
  • Integration tests run to test the solution e2e.

More details on automated testing


  • Project runs CI with automated build and test on each PR.
  • Project uses CD to manage deployments to a replica environment before PRs are merged.
  • Main branch is always shippable.

More details on continuous integration and continuous delivery


  • Access is only granted on an as-needed basis
  • Secrets are stored in secured locations and not checked in to code
  • Data is encrypted in transit (and if necessary at rest) and passwords are hashed
  • Is the system split into logical segments with separation of concerns? This helps limiting security vulnerabilities.

More details on security


  • Significant business and functional events are tracked and related metrics collected.
  • Application faults and errors are logged.
  • Health of the system is monitored.
  • The client and server side observability data can be differentiated.
  • Logging configuration can be modified without code changes (eg: verbose mode).
  • Incoming tracing context is propagated to allow for production issue debugging purposes.
  • GDPR compliance is ensured regarding PII (Personally Identifiable Information).

More details on observability


  • Process Lead (fixed/rotating) runs the daily standup
  • The agile process is clearly defined within team.
  • The Dev Lead (+ PO/Others) are responsible for backlog management and refinement.
  • A working agreement is established between team members and customer.

More details on agile development

Design Reviews

  • Process for conducting design reviews is included in the Working Agreement.
  • Design reviews for each major component of the solution are carried out and documented, including alternatives.
  • Stories and/or PRs link to the design document.
  • Each user story includes a task for design review by default, which is assigned or removed during sprint planning.
  • Project advisors are invited to design reviews or asked to give feedback to the design decisions captured in documentation.
  • Discover all the reviews that the customer's processes require and plan for them.
  • Clear non-functional requirements captured (see Non-Functional Requirements Guidance)
  • Risks and opportunities captured (see Risk/Opportunity Management)

More details on design reviews

Code Reviews

  • There is a clear agreement in the team as to function of code reviews.
  • The team has a code review checklist or established process.
  • A minimum number of reviewers (usually 2) for a PR merge is enforced by policy.
  • Linters/Code Analyzers, unit tests and successful builds for PR merges are set up.
  • There is a process to enforce a quick review turnaround.

More details on code reviews


  • Retrospectives are conducted each week/at the end of each sprint.
  • The team identifies 1-3 proposed experiments to try each week/sprint to improve the process.
  • Experiments have owners and are added to project backlog.
  • The team conducts longer retrospective for Milestones and project completion.

More details on retrospectives

Engineering Feedback

  • The team submits feedback on business and technical blockers that prevent project success
  • Suggestions for improvements are incorporated in the solution
  • Feedback is detailed and repeatable

More details on engineering feedback

Developer Experience (DevEx)

Developers on the team can:

  • Build/Compile source to verify it is free of syntax errors and compiles.
  • Execute all automated tests (unit, e2e, etc).
  • Start/Launch end-to-end to simulate execution in a deployed environment.
  • Attach a debugger to started solution or running automated tests, set breakpoints, step through code, and inspect variables.
  • Automatically install dependencies by pressing F5 (or equivalent) in their IDE.
  • Use local dev configuration values (i.e. .env, appsettings.development.json).

More details on developer experience

Last update: December 11, 2023