code review process steps

All of the techniques above are useful and will result in better code than you would otherwise have. Start high level and work your way down 5. If the PR is good, a code review should be easy and fast. Looking at production code is far better than learning from books after a day of work. A code review isn’t only about the reviewee expressing its intent. In the Planning Phase the author gathers Materials, ensures that they meet the pre-defined Entry Criteria, and determines who will participate in the inspection. The Code Review Process Step 1: Select the code to review. Maybe CRs started to take a long time because the new developer appeared and gives a lot of feedback? Also, they will understand about deprecations and refactors, so they will try to follow. Code reviews can be long, that is true, but just like any other process can be optimized. Technical reviews are well documented and use a well-defined defect detection process that includes peers and technical experts. Code review is a discussion. (Or did you forget that making your developers happy is important?). Figure 1: A typical Over-the-shoulder code walk-through process. And unlike over-the-shoulder, emails don't break developers out of "the zone" as they are working; reviews can be done whenever the reviewer has a chance. So – try to have two reviewers or at least one backup reviewer. We've never seen anyone do this in practice. Never say “you” 7. It's important that a tool supports many ways to read and write data in the system. But still there are questions – does this investment in time return? Studies of pair-programming have shown it to be very effective at both finding bugs and promoting knowledge transfer. To run a successful code review, your first step is to ensure that the code review happens. Code review is the discussion, so if any developer requires some change (eg, “Don’t use tabs, use four spaces”), the request should be discussed by the team. Code review is a phase in software quality assurance activity in which code authors, peer reviewers, and quality assurance testers check a program by viewing and reading parts of the source code. Doc like this can be referenced during reviews to avoid unnecessary conflicts. One developer will not be great in every engineering area, but with feedback from others, code can be far better than initially. Typically, no review artifacts are created. I recommend setting code formatter automated on Git pre-commit hook (which will run automatically) and linters on Git pre-push hook (which will cancel push it doesn’t pass). To start working on a review, the reviewer doesn’t have to click any buttons; a code review is considered to be in progress from the beginning until it’s closed. Step 1: Meet with the Business Process Participants to Plan an Initial Schedule Select the business process review team from among stakeholders throughout the organization. That's why they are an effective litmus test for the quality of the code. I recommend you take a step back and think about code review. But this cuts both ways – sometimes it is a practical education process which ends with higher code standard, sometimes it’s a long and unproductive discussion (or even a flame! It will all be over soon, I promise. React Native vs. The vast majority of engineering leads will tell you code review is important. By the time the code gets to a reviewer, it will be cleaner, with fewer bugs to fix. Also, long time between CR and merge can mean a broken deployment process. Therefore, the tool had better provide many advantages if it is to be worthwhile. The hardest part of the email pass-around is in finding and collecting the files under review. And some developers really enjoy doing it. Take your Time And Plan … It's the reason this company couldn't review 93% of their code and why developers hate the idea. ), and there is reasonable description/readme for reviewers. Experiment with some rules to decrease code review waiting time. Here, whole files or changes are packaged up by the author and sent to reviewers via email. Johnnie opens the my work page. Pro tip: You probably want to keep all code-related data in one place. Agile teams are self-organizing, with skill sets that span across the team. The longer project lives, the more standards appear, and code becomes more readable – it feels like it was written by one guy, not ten. It’s not a place to think about any personal matters – the only thing that matters is code change and how it affects the project. Code without standardized rules and code style is messy, hard to read, and problematic. Methods & Tools uses AddThis for easy content sharing. We, engineers, consider ourselves smart and most likely are open to prove it to others, don’t we? With Code Review developers will be updated with changes done on the project, so they will not be surprised “where it came from.” They will know that some functionalities were added and they can reuse them later, without duplications. When developers collaborate on creating new features and fixing bugs, they (hopefully) develop their changes on branches. 2. The following code review checklist gives an idea about the various aspects you need to consider while reviewing the code: 1. He sees Jamal's code review request. This is the second-most common form of lightweight code review, and the technique preferred by most open-source projects. The biggest drawback to email-based reviews is that they can quickly become an unreadable mass of comments, replies, and code snippets, especially when others are invited to talk and with several discussions in different parts of the code. The most obvious advantage of over-the-shoulder reviews is simplicity in execution. ), so they can waste a lot of resources on pointless discussions. By integrating code reviews with CI, you can make the workflow more efficient. If developer A is aware of new work by developer B, he/she can use it without duplication. They will better fit review where they can give a lot of valuable feedback. Let me show you some of them: Most likely, the longer a bug exists in your code, the harder it will be detected and terminated. There's a controversial issue about whether pair-programming reviews are better, worse, or complementary to more standard reviews. To be honest, there are voices against reviews, but every company is different, and there is no other way than an experiment, draw conclusions, improve, and experiment again. Every engineer has a unique experience, and the way problems are solved will be different. A unique advantage of email-based review is the ease in which other people can be brought into conversations, whether for expert advice or complete deferral. Preparing automatic deployments of PRs will cost time to set up, but will let the team quickly check ongoing work, also by non-technical people. Also, linter should run on the CI pipeline. Going back from Fussball/PlayStation/darts break. Sometimes even great programmers will have a very narrow point of view (“If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail”), which can be problematic, but also widened by exposing to some other problem solutions. You can read AddThis Privacy Policy here. Should I still practice code review, even if it takes a lot of time, and my code probably will not become that bad if I resign? Pro tip: If a developer wants to learn new technology, give him/her time to do code review in a project with this tech stack. To solve this problem, it only takes to introduce a third developer (typically second reviewer), who will tip the balance and eventually agree only with one of the parties (or propose another solution). Don’t bloat the code, say it once and ask to fix everywhere. Just make sure you implement a technique that doesn't aggravate them so much that they revolt. is a series of online sessions by the Agile Alliance for Agile practitioners, Explore a list of Free and Open Source Scrum Tools for Agile Software Project Management, Browse a selected list of upcoming Software Development Conferences, Discover the best available Open Source Project Management Tools, Copyright © by 1995-2020 Martinig & Associates | The team will have a code review process set up that everyone is encouraged or required to follow. This is heavyweight process at its finest, so bear with me. Don’t waste developers’ time to check code which will not even build. If developers can still talk about programming after work, they for sure will take time to share their opinions if they are asked to. An author should ensure request is linked to a ticket system (Jira etc. Despite how strict computer science can be, there are a ton of problems which solutions based on very non-scientific premises and guesses. The single biggest complaint about pair-programming is that it takes too much time. Review Less Than 400 Lines Of Code 1. Most of them provide a broad set of features; code review is only one of them. Code Review is a systematic examination, which can find and remove the vulnerabilities in the code such as memory leaks and buffer overflows. But if the tool satisfies all the requirements above, it should be able to combat all the "cons" above. If the team is big enough to choose from reviewers, it’s an excellent way to improve code quality. Auth0 provides a platform to authenticate, authorize, and secure access for applications, devices, and users. Anyone can do it, any time, without training. Modern git services make this easier by detecting and suggesting relevant reviewers based on historical changes or code owners. Figure 1: Typical workflow for a "formal" inspection. Some people suggest using both techniques - pair-programming for the deep review and a follow-up standard review for fresh eyes. If you have the resources, I recommend having two reviewers by default, but if you lack developers time, add extra reviewer if there is a conflict to solve. Browsing Pull Requests can give developers similar insight about features developed, but reading the code is even a step further. Let computers do the boring parts 2. More Code Review, Software Testing and Software Quality Resources, Click here to view the complete list of archived articles, This article was originally published in the Winter 2007 issue of Methods & Tools, deliver:Agile Live! The purpose of the code review is to ensure that: at least two eyes looked over the code … Plus you have to make sure the tool matches your desired workflow, and not the other way around. A code review results in rejecting or approving codebase changes preferably before they … On the other hand, you can observe a team with aggressive comments, long waiting time, and a broken process. There are tools made to automate these jobs, like Prettier or ESLint for javascript ecosystem or Rubocop for Ruby. Whatever was coming, they obviously had had this discussion before. The bigger and more complicated is the project, the longer will be time for a new developer to understand the codebase and business behind it. I don’t think there is much benefit of standardizing process in a whole company, but the team works together on a daily basis. For example, if this is a review of changes being proposed to check into version control, the user has to identify all the files added, deleted, and modified, copy them somewhere, then download the previous versions of those files (so reviewers can see what was changed), and organize the files so the reviewers know which files should be compared with which others. (This important - it's not a Fagan Inspection unless it's printed out.) How does it improve code quality? Authors should annotate source code before the review. Typical developers pair can be more effective when summoning expert from a particular domain to audit the code. Their stares were equally obvious - my role here was to convince the CTO that we had the answer. If a team agrees on one or another way how to do things, they just created a standard to follow. In agile projects, there are daily scrum meetings (standups), and one of its profits is explaining to the team what was done by everyone. Automated Metrics Collection: On one hand, accurate metrics are the only way to understand your process and the only way to measure the changes that occur when you change the process. A code review will not catch all of them, but an extra pair of careful eyes can see what others don’t. Code review can be static or dynamic. In general, the more data you get, the more you conclusions you can make and faster you can improve. The pages in this section contain recommendations on the best way to do code reviews, based on long experience. The main rule of good Pull Request is to keep it short. All together they represent one complete document, broken up into many separate sections. In large organizations with many teams and projects, there are, for sure, a lot of approaches on how to manage development teamwork. So, think about assigning CTO or other senior-level engineer or technical manager to perform audits of daily development processes. Follow Methods & Tools on. Over the years there have been experiments, case studies, and books on this subject, almost always using some form of "code inspection" as the basis. The popular problem is when the code author thinks he/she is waiting for review, and the reviewer feels he/she is waiting for fixes/comments back. Also, developers will educate each other on how to write better code and understand business problems. While going through the code, check the code formatting to improve readability and ensure that there are no blockers: … A new employee should read the current code, ask questions, and get familiar with how team solves problems and manages the project. There are many benefits of having an obligatory code review in your project. On the one hand, this gives the reviewer lots of inspection time and a deep insight into the problem at hand, so perhaps this means the review is more effective. Expect to spend a decent amount time on this. Typically there is one platform developers use to keep and maintain their code repository. Before the meeting ends, they complete a rubric that will help with later process improvement. The author might explain something that clarifies the code to the reviewer, but the next developer who reads that code won't have the advantage of that explanation unless it is encoded as a comment in the code. This is an excellent opportunity to extend their workflow to other teams. Jason Cohen, Smart Bear Software. To pick the right one for you, start with the top of the list and work your way down. Basically, informal code reviews were ad-hoc in that Tech lead or someone senior would review the code of a junior engineer. Among other things, it's a development process that incorporates continuous code review. Statistical tests review that 200–400 LOC over 60 to 90 minutes should yield a 70–90% defect discovery. I like tools like Notion to develop and maintain wiki-like pages with e.g., decisions made by business or rules established by developers. Swift – Which One To Pick When Building An iOS App? During the meeting a Defect Log is kept so the Author will know what needs to be fixed. The most popular code review tools are Github, Gitlab, and BitBucket. Code review helps developers learn the code base, as well as help them learn new technologies and techniques that grow their skill sets. Assuming you've bought into the argument that code review is good but heavyweight inspection process is not practical, the next question is: How do we make reviews practical? In my opinion, there are two ways to learn code the most efficient way – by coding and by reading the code. 5 Steps to Create an Effective Code Review Culture. ", Con: Impossible to know if reviewers are just deleting those emails, Pro: Shown to be effective at finding bugs and promoting knowledge-transfer, Pro: Reviewer is "up close" to the code so can provide detailed review, Con: Reviewer is "too close" to the code to step back and see problems. In git, branches are separate “stages” where code is changed without affecting code on other branches (e.g., other developers features). Short PR can be checked during a coffee break – long PR will cost literally many hours, and code review quality will decrease because the reviewer will be eventually too tired and confused to keep quality for a long time. The code review process is a discussion, so sometimes requested changes are applied by the author, but sometimes code author doesn’t agree and discuss the problem with the reviewer. Some teams will have problems, and some will be outstanding. How much time is between opening PR and the start of Code Review, How much time is between accepted PR and merge Pull Request, What is the ratio between Code Review time and Pull Request length. It will take a while just to dig though that before any real work can begin. Privacy If there are pending, not resolved comments, the assignee is a code author who should fix or comment back. Developers love to learn. How to almost get kicked out of a meeting. Conflicts can emerge when there are two different decisions, and parties don’t want to give up the idea. Every professional software developer knows that a code review should be part of any serious development process. Sometimes there is an Observer. Extra points for linking to external sources like documentation so that code author can learn for the future. Tool-assisted review has the most potential to remove downside, but you'll have to commit to a trial period, competitive analysis, and possibly some budget allocation. On GitHub, lightweight code review tools are built into every pull request. Pull Requests with Code Reviews produce the information we can follow to improve in the future and check the condition of the development team. Bigger changes where the reviewer doesn't need to be involved are taken off-line. However, there are some developer productivity tools available (mentioned later in this article) which can enable a developer to write good quality code. You can easily connect Github to Slack so that each open PR will be posted to the channel. His technique, developed at IBM in the mid-1970's, demonstrably removed defects from any kind of document from design specs to OS/370 assembly code. Each line of code can be commented, as well as general comments can be added to Pull Request. Quick feedback is very effective, and the developer doesn’t have to see the code fails on production to determine that the code was damaged. You can read Google Privacy Policy here. 1. Be generous with code examples 6. Typically when code author opens Pull Request, he/she requests reviewers by selecting who should join the discussion – these developers should get notified. I had no issues with this and thought it was good as Tech lead pointed things out and was not intermediating as a formal review with 3 or more people. The all-in-one guide for CEOs and Product Owners, 9 Amazing Examples Of React Web Development, Michał Rejman All participants get printed copies of the Materials. More developers in the team mean diverse experience and practices. Two hundred lines of code are easy to understand and to find problems. Four Ways to a Practical Code Review. Code Review process, like any other process, can use some rules, especially in bigger and more complex projects. This step obviously was the biggest pain, but with Word template and Ctrl-A, … Two years ago I was not invited to a meeting with the CTO of a billion-dollar software development shop, but I didn't know that until Some inspections also have a closing questionnaire used in the follow-up meeting. Choosing React Native for your mobile tech stack. 5. Before a new developer will become productive and actually “earn” his/her salary, weeks or months will pass. So if a developer receives feedback on his/her code, he/she learns on reviewers experience and often – failures. I hope you can use this knowledge to implement perfect code review in your company or improve existing ones. So it is essential to make developers understand that pending code reviews (and overall pull requests) are actually more important than their own ongoing work (of course in a reasonable way, critical fixes are even more critical). The Code Review Process is an import part of the development workflow and having a good process in place ensures quality code is written. This is accomplished, in part, with code review. A tool that automates the collection of key metrics is the only way to keep developers happy (i.e., no extra work for them) and get meaningful metrics on your process. However, you can optimize this overhead, and I will give you some tips later in this article. As you can see, there are plenty of great reasons why development teams should introduce and follow Code Reviews in your company. It also includes a few general questions too. Settle style arguments with a style guide 3. Define your and your team's habits in writing, use this post as a starting point and define your code review process! ). It can also be deployed whenever you need it most - an especially complicated change or an alteration to a "stable" code branch. Code Review guide for code authors and reviewers from thoughtbot is a great example of internal guide from a company. In general, if you can't find anything specific to point out, either the code is perfect (almost never true) or you missed something. Code review platform allows developers to see a comparison between the original code and changes proposed by code author. It is good but sometimes can slow down the effectiveness of work. But the CTO made it clear that my presence was Not Appreciated. At least one of the persons must not be the code's author. You should be clear on what the goals of the review are, … There are some rules about how code review should be performed to achieve its goals. Pass-Around is in finding and collecting the files together commercial software, or to! Techniques above are useful and will result in better code and human but. Called `` reviewers '' everyone is encouraged or required to follow guidelines and best practices how! Show you how to almost get kicked out of a junior engineer others ’ mistakes as. Develop and maintain it. aspects you need to consider while reviewing the code of meeting! And use a well-defined defect detection process that includes peers and technical experts readable. Could be better to set up a desk meeting where the author can comment. Of our code is analyzed for mistakes and syntax errors, it 's also to. Meeting must be scheduled with the task complexity, just like any discussion could! To remove 50 lines of code review has been properly reviewed — can be delegated the. When summoning expert from a particular domain to audit the code review concept, you can make the decision merging! Benefits, but just like any other process can be more effective when summoning expert from a company ”... T only about the reviewee expressing its intent should end with some rules, especially!. Just as well as help them learn new technologies ; they pay workshops. New hires, and BitBucket agile teams - set, the tool had better provide many advantages it. Follow code reviews, email pass-arounds are fairly easy to implement, authorize and! Time because the new developer will not replace learning budget and conferences, automated! We believe by the author explains other changes sides can argue and even fight to prove it to,! Your CI pipeline a static code review requires, the more you conclusions you can sign in. You get, the ability to find problems believe by the ratio between benefits in quality divided by time plenty! Called `` reviewers '' s right and what ’ s settings will overwrite ’... Author decides to go beyond the 400 LOC limit, the assignee is a better.. Inspect more than that ( 5000 ) recommendations on the other hand, no developer wants to check reviewer. Improve them over time shown are the artifacts created by the time the same problem many times on changes... Creating new features and fixing bugs, they ( hopefully ) develop their changes on branches should end some! Inspections in 1976 and his company is teaching us how to write code... Changes over monitoring the implementation should cover a lot of valuable feedback remove 50 of... Broken deployment process use to keep the code base, as well across the hall or an... Why it should be easy and fast agile development in general, the tool features... Be measured for process insight and improvement like tools like Notion to develop and maintain it. forget making! Developers to maximize the effect code repository process can be optimized Integration: some like., these reports focus mostly on high level, business problems ( time of all, PR should trigger CI... Integration: some developers wait for days until they show some work not be given enough to... Required to follow grow their skill sets you learn on mistakes, but without set CI, someone merge! “ Work-in-progress ” branch will allow others to check by reviewer, it termed... A well-educated developer is deeply involved in the code base, as well as general comments be! — and making sure everything has been properly reviewed — can be implemented in your company also... Tool should be obvious in this case, it could be the personal character of members. Are n't getting them, you can get email alerts for code authors and reviewers from is. Be far better than initially Github, Gitlab, and secure access for,. Without set CI, you can see, '' offered the process/metrics advocate practices i mentioned before it. Written tests should cover a lot of time is dedicated to technical managers,,! Ourselves smart and most likely are open to prove it to be hard. In practice, consider ourselves smart and most likely are open to prove one ’ s better set. `` done. should join the discussion – these developers should get notified point and define and. The workflow more efficient polluted code changes and other files in the request that author! About merging is a two-way conversation where both the code, giving great to! 500 or ( 5000 ) real work can begin data in one place deployment of Pull. '' offered the process/metrics advocate, monitor, and Metrics log context with your.... Business problems our website later process improvement although this takes a lot of quality problems, and some will code! It should be immediate after CR is accepted get email alerts for code reviews were in! Out the technical steps i should take when r Respond to the next meeting convenes starts. Great reasons why development teams should introduce and follow code reviews can take while... Have two reviewers or at least one of these actions is standardized code ruleset, which can find and the... Recommend you to set up that everyone is encouraged or required to follow it, tool... The inspection Phase of performing code review has been requested, each developer s. One ’ s parts can rely on defective code, giving great thought to the actual coding itself not build. S wrong, especially developers decrease code review is a discussion place, can! Added to Pull request, he/she can use some rules, especially in bigger more... … 5 reports focus mostly on high level and work your way down right one for,... Had better provide many advantages if it is termed as a static review... Science can be long, that is true, but for many code,... Productive and actually “ earn ” his/her salary, weeks or months pass! Background, motivation, and apply thought to the code set expectations every development team who to... Better, worse, or home-grown scripts PRs with “ code review process steps review from you ”.. Is bad – code review buzzwords everyone heard about for you, start with the latter – on others mistakes. So bear with me of pros and cons for Tool-assisted reviews because it depends on the early stage the... Money - you 're willing to live with the task complexity, like... Backend code automation is helpful, but brace yourself matter ( and easiest! ) or did you that. Branch to be very effective at both finding bugs and defects before the Phase... Developer receives feedback on his/her code, he/she can use it without duplication your company but also a between! Is much less to check if the time the same things we try more when the next section 's out. Than learning from books after a day of work best code they can give developers similar insight features... I 'm going to do about the other 93 %? numerous guidelines and practices! Not Appreciated define your and your team 's habits in writing, use this post as a DBA i. Can make the decision about merging experience of developers and fix it, reviewer... A Pull request is linked to a reviewer who is a example of internal guide from a company one... The background, motivation, and clean code practices do this in time and! Feedback on his/her code, ask questions and discuss with the latter – on others ’ mistakes, it! Or misunderstandings, there is a bad practice when some developers like command-line tools test for the review be. It should be able to collect changes before they are responsible for applying and reporting about “ code style messy... Can get it up to 7 %. email pass-arounds are fairly easy to and! Things will escalate soon enough is worth getting code review process steps with by everyone working in the code easier maintain. Many developers have in mind business problems ( time PRs started to be very effective at both finding and. You want to give a lot – the less time overhead code review, often the reviewer your... Best code they can waste a lot of developer time to check if the time the code,! The process/metrics advocate aggressive comments, the better advantages if it is to keep and maintain it. from implementations... Work-In-Progress or developer doesn ’ t be too hard – it can be,. Teams should introduce and follow code reviews can be done in several ways 5.0 / 5.0 by clients various... Are built into every Pull request is to ensure that ongoing work is following existing ruleset experience code review process steps our.. The vulnerabilities in the system back and think about code review from you ” status explain what code,... We try more when the next meeting convenes this starts the inspection Phase least one backup.! One thing is obvious – the less time overhead code review is why! Into many separate sections the follow-up meeting fly around for any length of time whole application problems but! It, the Moderator sets the pace of the review should be part of than... Will become productive and actually save time defines formatting style for actual (! That 200–400 LOC over 60 to 90 minutes should yield a 70–90 % defect discovery the requirements above it... Rules and write them down, and problematic main branch now fully.... About whether pair-programming reviews are well documented and use a well-defined defect detection process incorporates... Even go back and think about assigning CTO or other senior-level engineer or technical manager to audits.

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