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Benefits of Code Review: Every Team Must Know [2022 Guides]

The basic purpose of every software development team is to provide customers with high-quality code. Having to deal with faulty code is a common problem for most teams. The best teams take the time to think about strategies to mitigate the risk of developing code that does not work. In addition, the greatest teams take the effort to make sure they’re delivering the best code that they can. And there is no better way to accomplish these goals than code reviews.

Intro

The basic purpose of every software development team is to provide customers with high-quality code. Having to deal with faulty code is a common problem for most teams. The best teams take the time to think about strategies to mitigate the risk of developing code that does not work. In addition, the greatest teams take the effort to make sure they’re delivering the best code that they can. And there is no better way to accomplish these goals than code reviews.

A well-designed code review process gives team members a clear framework for discussing and evaluating each other’s work. While they require additional effort, the time invested is well worth it when weighed against the rewards. It is possible to lower the overall time spent on quality assurance by utilizing code reviews in conjunction with other methods.

In comparison to more traditional forms of testing, code reviews identify more bugs than the latter do. They also provide opportunities for mentoring and cross-module information sharing across your entire team. Code reviews, in other words, are the single best cost-effective method of discovering defects in your software.

Consistent code reviews can have a significant impact. To further understand these factors, let’s take a closer look. So, without further ado, off we go!

What is Code review?

It’s evident what code review is all about: it’s a process of examining the code for errors, misspellings, bugs, and other faults. However, despite the simplicity of this simple explanation, there are plenty more things to uncover underneath it. Let’s begin by answering a few pertinent questions to gain a better knowledge of code review.

Who performs code review?

It doesn’t necessarily have to be the person who developed the code. The goal is to gain a fresh perspective on a piece of software by examining it from the outside. This is why code review is sometimes referred to as “peer code review,” as anyone who is proficient enough can execute it.

What’s the point of doing a code review?

Code review is essential to the software development process for a number of reasons. It can be used for the following purposes:

  • Improved Engagement and communication within the company
  • Identifying and fixing errors in the code, as well as preventing future problems.
  • Maintaining a consistent codebase
  • Brainstorming and developing creative solutions
  • The sharing of knowledge among teammates
  • Maintaining compliance with all applicable standards, regulations, and style guidelines for the code

How does code review work?

In order to review code efficiently and conveniently, each development team has its own set of methods and tools that it employs. A manual review, an automatic review, or a combination of the two may be performed.

To detect errors and impurities in the code manually, a developer has to spend a lot of time going over each and every line of code. Automated code review, on the other hand, gives programmers a helping hand by checking thousands of lines of code in a matter of seconds. Although both of these methods have advantages and disadvantages, it’s best to combine them if you want to increase the quality of your code review process.

Benefits Of Implementing Code Reviews

High quality

You’re more likely to write clean, concise code if you have the knowledge that your coworkers will be reviewing it. It is possible that minor flaws in code or patterns will slip through the cracks; however, your coworkers can assist you in catching them before they are distributed and tested, which helps to limit the number of bugs while also ensuring that the code quality remains high. When you encounter edge instances where you must break from the norm, you may make it easier for your team to recognise them by including comments that explain why you did so. When submitting a pull request, be sure to include this information in the description. This eliminates the need for your coworkers to investigate whether the divergence was intentional on your part or the result of an error.

Onboarding a new employee

Having numerous team members ask questions and provide feedback on one another’s work speeds up the onboarding process for new team members who benefit from the knowledge-sharing that occurs during code reviews.

Knowledge exchange

Involvement in code reviews is a wonderful way to share knowledge among members of a team, both as a reviewer and as someone who submits code for evaluation. As a reviewer, you gain insight into the thought processes of your coworkers. You also have the opportunity to inquire about why certain things are done in a certain way—whether it is a style choice or an unidentified pattern. As a developer who submits code for review, you have the opportunity to learn about alternative patterns and tips from your team members.

Increase consistency

Having code reviews allows team members to work across several codebases in small chunks while still maintaining focus on the main project. So, if one of your teammates goes on leave or is unwell, you’ll not have a hard time catching up with their project and assisting them with a bug fix or new release because you’ve already seen parts of their codebase.

Saves time

Code reviews, according to some, are a waste of time since they divert attention away from “real development”. However, the reality is that a lack of code reviews can lead to an increase in the number of flaws and inconsistencies that are only discovered after the product has been released. Because of this, bugs have to be reported and triaged and old code needs to be examined to identify what went wrong. Inconsistencies in your code could make it difficult for a new developer to figure out what’s going on because they’re not familiar with the codebase, etc.

Best Practices For Code Reviews

To fix someone’s code quality, you must first measure it. To calculate the efficiency of your reviews, analyze the impact of change on the process, and anticipate the number of hours required to complete a project, objective metrics are used.

The following are examples of regularly used review metrics:

  • Security: Are there any vulnerabilities in the code?
  • Code readability: Are there any comments in the code that are duplicates of each other?
  • The inspection rate is derived by dividing the number of lines of code (LoC) inspected per hour by the number of hours in which the code is being reviewed. Code readability may be an issue if it takes a significant time to review the source code.
  • Defect Density: To determine defect density, you divide the total number of defects by the number of lines of code in a given quantity of code. An analysis of defect density can help you determine which components are more prone to flaws so that you can focus more resources on strengthening the weak links. You may need to allocate more experienced developers to work on a web application with a disproportionately high number of problems.
  • Defect rate: The number of defects found divided by the number of hours spent on the inspection. Your testing procedures may not be as efficient as they may be if your developers are taking too long to find problems.
  • Test Coverage: Are there any other cases that should be tested?
  • Reusability: Are there any reusable components, functions, or services?
  • Architecture: Is the code modular and encapsulated?

Tips & guidelines

Working together can be a challenge at times for anyone, regardless of the situation. It’s important to set ground rules with your team so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to working together. The following are some general pointers to get you started on the right track:

  • There should be no personal attacks.
  • It’s okay if you don’t find any issues. Even if you’re looking at 100 lines of code, you may not need to make any changes. Don’t go searching for problems merely for the sake of finding problems.
  • Do not be harsh in your responses; instead, be constructive.
  • Involve at least one person who wasn’t involved in the original development of the code.
  • At the same time maintaining a manageable number of reviewers is important. Having extra eyes on the code can be beneficial, but having too many eyes can be counterproductive.
  • Having a lot of questions is an excellent thing.
  • Remember to remain positive and point out the positive aspects as well.
  • Instead of ordering, you can simply inquire and/or instruct.

FAQs

a) What is the point of a code review?

Code review is an essential part of the design validation process. It also helps to ensure that the design and implementation processes are consistent. Code review is essential to the software development process for a number of reasons. It can be used for the listed purposes:

  • Improved communication within the company
  • Identifying and fixing errors in the code, as well as preventing future problems.
  • Maintaining a consistent codebase

b) What do reviewers look for while they are conducting code reviews?

Design, execution, usefulness in solving a stated problem and module compatibility are the primary considerations in a review. Ideally, a reviewer should have some knowledge of the subject matter at hand. If a reviewer has additional areas of expertise, he or she can discuss those as well and make suggestions for changes. What a reviewer can say to help improve the code is not constrained by the rules of the review process.

c) How long is a review supposed to be for?

If the pull request is large or complicated, it may take longer to process. Generally, reviews can run anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. If it’s only taking you 5 minutes to review the code, you’re not actually reviewing it, you’re just scanning it. And that is not the right way to go.

Conclusion:

A code review is a testing technique that is carried out by a person who is not the code’s creator but who is familiar with the code’s design. If you’re building software for your clients, this should be an essential part of your process.

Code performance, codebase consistency, reduced task time and budget savings, and improved teamwork are just a few of the advantages you’ll enjoy when you use the finest code review approaches we’ve mentioned above.

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