Review Checklist

For the things we all can agree on

Posted by Jake Corn on February 10, 2021

This is a living document of various things I like to add to a document I call...

The Review Checklist

My work implementations may be different, but these are some guidelines.


  • When this fails, how do we find out about it? (notification/Alerting)
  • When this fails, how do we learn how to fix it? (audit trails/reporting)
  • When this fails, can we automate a fix? (nurse process)
  • How do we know if users are using this?


  • Are consecutive statements at similar levels of abstraction? (Clean Code - Uncle Bob)
  • What something does is more important to readability than how.
    • API should be at top, details at bottom.
  • Things should not be named for their usage.
  • Can lint rules be improved to capture readability concerns?


  • Is there any user facing documentation?
  • Internal Documentation?
  • Does the documentation live near the thing it documents?
  • Screenshots/videos?


  • How does the Changelog get updated

Data Archival

  • What do we do with the data when it is old?


  • Does linting happen in the build step? (Are there any PR conversations that could be lint checks instead?)
  • Do Unit Tests run before Integration Tests?


A great guide to testing guidelines is Kent Beck's "Test Desiderata" (After all, Kent Beck is the father of TDD) Test Disiderata


  • Are tests coupled to the behavior?
  • Are tests decoupled from structure?
  • Are tests easier to write than production code?
  • Do the tests run quickly?
  • When tests pass, do they inspire confidence about the releasability of the code?
  • Isolated - do tests return same results regardless of how they are run?
  • When test fails, is the reason obvious?
  • Can this test be run without human intervention? (will CI pick it up?) ... ...Additional
  • Are we missing any tests?

Race Conditions

  • Is it possible that two callers are competing for the same resource? If important, how to address/test?


  • Is the code compatible with upgrades/downgrades?
  • Have APIs remained stable.
  • Does anything in this code need to be versioned?
  • Is there any versioning that needs to happen?

Change Notification

  • Who needs to be notified of this change - (Can this be automated)?


  • Was there any work done outside of the code that could somehow be checked in to produce a useful archive for other team members. ie, a one off curl request that could be checked in... etc...
  • Should any of the manual testing setup be automated?

-- jake