Working with the Platform Engineering Team

This document helps all teams working on VA.gov understand when you should engage engineering resources for collaboration, code review, and support. All teams building on the VA.gov platform must follow VA.gov engineering best practices and guidelines in order to provide Veterans with an excellent customer experience. Working with the VSP engineering team helps ensure that we maintain consistent code quality and performance that supports the best Veteran user experience across the site.

How Veteran-Facing Services (VFS) teams and Platform Engineering work together

VSP Engineering is responsible for maintaining the application code, building tools to help the development process, and keeping the platform available and performant. Responsibilities for this work are divided between the back-end engineering team, the front-end engineering team, and the infrastructure team. In addition, the SRE team has a dedicated front-end, back-end engineers and infrastructure engineers that can directly work with VFS teams to help ensure a successful project.

Orientation for new teams

  • The support engineers will schedule breakout meetings for your engineers to help explain the tools, services, support, and documentation available to you.

During development

  • Your team will use the patterns and tools provided by the engineering team to build your features

  • The engineering team is responsible reviewing all code on the platform and encourages frequent, small pull-requests from your engineers.

What VSP Engineering does

We support engineers by providing resources and guidance to enable them to create performant, maintainable Veteran-centered applications.

How can VSP Engineering help?

  • Familiarize your team with how we use GitHub, pull requests, and automated code analysis tools.

  • Help you prepare for your PII and Security reviews

  • Provide code review to ensure you're meeting VSP standards

  • Act as a resource when deploying code in the staging environment for testing

  • Through our support team, be a guide to building applications that use the platform

VA.gov engineering resources

Engineering reviews

There are multiple types of reviews that involve the engineering team

  1. A Security, Privacy, and Production readiness Review, which must be completed before the project can be launched. Guidelines

  2. On-going code reviews in each pull-request. Guidelines These reviews should happen after the code has been reviewed by another member of your team and before it is merged into the platform

Other ways to get VSP engineering feedback

The support engineers on the VSP team are available for informal discussions about code and architecture challenges as you build your application. They can help refer you to other engineers if your specific problem requires additional help or expertise.

Contact VSP engineering

If you have any questions, please reach out via slack in #vfs-platform-support.