January 19, 2019

Code Reviews

  —Another look at the value of code review.

Code reviews is one of the first activities I introduced into my software team. Over the next two years, I watched my team move from a collection of co-located individuals working in silos to a group of people who embraced the idea of improving our code. I attribute this change in part to code review.

The team and I structured our code review around two simple rules.

  1. Review everything. Even one line changes.

  2. Honour the reviewer’s veto on the “ship it”.

It’s worked marvellously.

Still, I often felt silly requiring code reviews for a one line change. I find myself explaining that quality starts with a single line of code. I find myself having to explain this a too few many times to skeptics.

I was pleased to learn from Vaidehi Joshi’s article Crafting Better Code Reviews that Steve McConnell’s research included statistics for improvements on code reviews of one line changes.

Finally, vindicated.

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