The Process of Reviewing Code

Since CS-343 is meant to teach us about how to craft and design better code, I figured it would be important to first identify the key components of reviewing code, whether it be your own or someone else’s. To do this, I used the article “Yet Another Code Review Best Practices” by Pawel Ochman as my main reference.

He begins by describing some of the reasons for reviewing the code, leading into a few tips and things to look for, ending into a note about how to maintain the code after your review. With all of this information, a few key things stuck out to me:

  • Prior to reviewing the code, you must create a goal. There can be a single or multiple goals, but no matter what all code reviewers must have common goal(s). Some examples of these goals include:
    • Eliminating bugs at an early stage
    • Improving code quality
    • Increasing knowledge about the project
    • Learning from each other
  • The most important principles to follow when reviewing code are quality and motivation. In this context, quality is the principle of making sure that every time you review code, you review it to the best of your ability. Similarly, motivation is the principle that plays as a constant reminder of the values of code review to keep the team/yourself feeling positive about the review/editing.
  • Positive feedback after reviewing the code is important for whoever’s code it is. The values of code review outweighs allowing it to continue to be inefficient or ineffective in functioning/solving the problem (whatever that may be).
  • The most important point is that you don’t have to be an expert:

It’s a great chance to learn something new. If you are not sure whether solution is correct, you can start a valuable discussion. As a team member you should be able to work on any area of the project. Don’t allow any person to be the only expert in specific part of an application. You should be able to replace anyone in case of his absence.

All in all, this was a great article to learn from as it allows you to see the benefits of  code review through each stage. With small pieces of advice, it transforms what may be a painful process into a more positive one.

 

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