Hello Readers, CoolMonkTechie heartily welcomes you in Technology Best Tips and Tricks Series.
In this series article, we will discuss about the nine best practices for code review. Code reviews are important. They improve code quality. They make your codebase more stable. And they help programmers build relationships and work together more effectively.
But reviewing a peer’s code is easier said than done. And running a review process can be a nightmare for team leads. For that reason, we explain what to look for in a code review, the code review process, and what are the nine best practices for code review.
A Famous quote about Programming is :
“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.“
Here are the nine best practices for code review:
- Know What to Look for in a Code Review
- Build and Test — Before Review
- Don’t Review Code for Longer Than 60 Minutes
- Check No More Than 400 Lines at a Time
- Give Feedback That Helps (Not Hurts)
- Communicate Goals and Expectations
- Include Everyone in the Code Review Process
- Foster a Positive Culture
- Automate to Save Time
1. Know What to Look for in a Code Review
It’s important to go into reviews knowing what to look for. Look for key things, such as…
- Test coverage
- Readability (and maintainability)
We can do automated checks (e.g., static analysis) for some of the things — e.g., structure and logic. But others — e.g., design and functionality — require a human reviewer to evaluate.
Reviewing code with certain questions in mind can help us focus on the right things. For instance, we might evaluate code to answer:
- Do we understand what the code does?
- Does the code function as we expect it to?
- Does this code fulfill regulatory requirements?
“By evaluating code critically — with questions in mind — we’ll make sure we check for the right things. And we’ll reduce time when it comes to testing.”
2. Build and Test — Before Code Review
In today’s era of Continuous Integration (CI), it’s key to build and test before doing a manual review. Ideally, after tests have passed, we’ll conduct a review and deploy it to the dev code line.
This ensures stability. And doing automated checks first will cut down on errors and save time in the review process.
“Automation keeps you from wasting time in reviews.”
3. Don’t Review Code For Longer Than 60 Minutes
Never review for longer than 60 minutes at a time. Performance and attention-to-detail tend to drop off after that point. It’s best to conduct reviews often (and in short sessions).
Taking a break will give our brain a chance to reset. So, we can review it again with fresh eyes.
“ Giving ourself time to do short, frequent reviews will help us improve the quality of the codebase.”
4. Check No More Than 400 Lines at a Time
If we try to review too many lines of code at once, we’re less likely to find defects. Try to keep each review session to 400 lines or less. Setting a line-of-code (LOC) limit is important for the same reasons as setting a time limit. It ensures we are at our best when reviewing the code.
” Focusing on fewer than 400 lines makes our reviews more effective. And it helps us ensure higher quality in the codebase.“
5. Give Feedback That Helps (Not Hurts)
Try to be constructive in our feedback, rather than critical. We can do this by asking questions, rather than making statements. And remember to give praise alongside our constructive feedback.
Giving feedback in-person (or even doing your review in-person) will help us communicate with the right tone.
” Our code will always need to be reviewed. And we’ll always need to review our coworkers’ code. When we approach reviews as a learning process, everyone wins.“
6. Communicate Goals and Expectations
We should be clear on what the goals of the review are, as well as the expectations of reviewers. Giving our reviewers a checklist will ensure that the reviews are consistent. Programmers will evaluate each other’s code with the same criteria in mind.
” By communicating goals and expectations, everyone saves time. Reviewers will know what to look for — and they’ll be able to use their time wisely in the review process.”
7. Include Everyone in the Code Review Process
No matter how senior the programmer is, everyone needs to review and be reviewed. After all, everyone performs better when they know someone else will be looking at their work.
When we’re running reviews, it’s best to include both another engineer and the software architect. They’ll spot different issues in the code, in relation to both the broader codebase and the overall design of the product.
” Including everyone in the review process improves collaboration and relationships between programmers.”
8. Foster a Positive Culture
Fostering a positive culture around reviews is important, as they play a vital role in product quality. It doesn’t matter who introduced the error. What matters is the bug was caught before it went into the product. And that should be celebrated.
” By fostering a positive culture, you’ll help your team appreciate (rather than dread) reviews. “
9. Automate to Save Time
There are some things that reviewers will need to check in manual reviews. But there are some things that can be checked automatically using the right tools.
Static code analyzers, for instance, find potential issues in code by checking it against coding rules. Running static analyzers over the code minimizes the number of issues that reach the peer review phase. Using tools for lightweight reviews can help, too.
” By using automated tools, you can save time in peer review process. This frees up reviewers to focus on the issues that tools can’t find — like usability.”
That’s all about in this article.
In this article, We understood about the nine best practices for Code Review.
Thanks for reading ! I hope you enjoyed and learned about nine best practices steps for Code Review. Reading is one thing, but the only way to master it is to do it yourself.
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