Software Engineering

Pull Request Checklists

There’s always one thing you or someone on your team forgets to do right before a release. Whether that’s testing the new feature on an actual device, checking accessibility, or running one last round of unit tests, these simple little things can come back to bite you. The thing my team started doing at Intuit was to include a checklist with every pull request submitted in order to keep any of these important items from being forgotten.

Here’s one that’s similar to ours:

  • Test on device
  • Write unit tests
  • Run unit tests
  • Run integration tests
  • Run UI smoke tests
  • If the PR includes UI changes
    • Review the final layout with the design team
    • Test dynamic font sizes
    • Test for voiceover and accessibility
    • Use localized strings
    • Test multiple screen sizes (iPhone SE, iPhone 8, iPhone X Max)

It’s important to make sure that most, if not all, of the items on your checklist, should be done every single time. Otherwise, you may fall into the trap where you decide to skip a step because, for example, it takes too much time. This eventually becomes a habit and you may accidentally not do something you’re supposed to do in the future. That defeats the whole purpose of the checklist.

If you use Github for your repo, they have an easy way of adding something like this checklist to your PR template. That way, every time someone creates a pull request, the checklist template will auto-populate and you won’t have to copy and paste it. Check out how to do that here.

Do you use checklists already? What are other good checklist items to add? I’d love to hear about your team’s PR process in the comments 😊

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