Keshav Malik, Author
Keshav Malik is a Software Security Engineer. He loves to hack and find bugs in applications. While his primary focus is Web Development & Web Security, he is also interested in exploring the latest technologies. Apart from his interest in Security, he has a keen interest in writing technical blogs.
Conducting regular code reviews is an essential process in the software development life cycle(SDLC). Software code is the most important and valuable asset of a company, and it needs to be reviewed by someone experienced and knowledgeable in that particular codebase.
Code reviews are one of the best ways to ensure the quality of code being written. Many organizations rely on code reviews to catch errors. However, code reviews can become challenging when the code being reviewed is extensive and difficult to understand. To ensure quality, organizations should opt to include automated code reviews as a part of their regular process .
This article will look at both of these types of code review (manual & automated) to understand the importance of incorporating automated code reviews to help optimize your current code review process.
What are Code Reviews?
Code review is the process of reviewing a set of source code either by peers, senior engineers or an automated tool. This essential step all software engineers partake in helps to improve the code's quality and avoid defects in the code that are not identified by compilers or testing.
Code reviews are a great way to learn from others, improve your code and help you become a better developer. They can also help you find bugs or things you might have missed on your own.
Sometimes simple errors that are easy to miss can significantly impact the performance and security of your code. This is especially true in a team setting where everyone's code interacts with each other.
Why Code Reviews Play an Essential Role in SDLC
Every company has a coding standard and rules used to develop their code, and a developer should always follow those rules. The code review process ensures that the developer follows the company's set rules and coding standards, which ultimately helps produce better quality code.
Code reviews are an essential part of the software development life cycle (SDLC) in the Agile methodology. While Scrum focuses on iterative development, developers must still finish the project on time.
In other words, they must complete their tasks within the time specified in their project's burn-down chart. To achieve this objective, they must minimize risks and errors and follow best practices. However, they must have reliable and well-tested code to do that. That is why code reviews play the most critical role in SDLC.
There are a lot of benefits of performing code reviews. Apart from reviewing code for performance and security, code reviews can help with:
- Code Quality: Code reviews can ensure that the code quality is up to the standard.
- Bug Detection: Code reviews can be used to find bugs before they are released to customers.
- Collaboration: Code reviews can be used to encourage collaboration among developers, who can improve code quality and increase the team's overall efficiency.
- Knowledge Sharing & Training: Code reviews allow a teamshare knowledge and help team members learn more about each other's work.
Types of Code Reviews: Manual & Automated
There are typically two approaches for conducting a code review: manual and automated code reviews.
Manual code reviews are done by a person manually, and it is an effective method of finding and removing faults in the code whereas automated code review is performed by smart automated code review tools. Automated code review is an effective method of finding and eliminating faults in the code in lesser time & better coverage.
Let’s discuss both of these in detail.
1. Manual Code Review
In this process, a tester is assigned to read the code, find bugs. Typically, the tester is assigned to a single code or small piece of code. There are some advantages and some disadvantages of manual code review.
- Manual code review can find issues that no other technique can identify.
- Testers can spend as much time on a single code based on the size of code to review.
- Finding all the defects in a single code is hard.
- It is also difficult to find the same defects more than once.
- Can be time-consuming
2. Automated Code Review
Automated code review is a process of analyzing the code using smart automated code review tools. In this process, the code is analyzed, and the defects are found. Automated code review reduces the time and effort required in manual code review, which a human reviewer does. Some advantages of performing automated code reviews are as follows:
- Decrease Time and Human Efforts: You can review all the changes made in the code concisely and with less effort.
- Better Coverage: Automated code review tools help a lot in code coverage.
- Easy to Scale: If you have a big team of developers, you can automate the code review process without any issues.
- Easy to Use: These automated code review tools are accessible. You just have to set them up with Code Hosting Provider (GitHub, GitLab, etc.) and use them.
- Cost-Effective: You can get these automated code review tools for a low cost and get a better ROI.
Breaking Down the Process of an Automated Code Review
The automated code review process ensures that all code adheres to a defined set of standards. Code can be reviewed in separate environments from the developers' machines to ensure that all code is reviewed without wasting time.
Automated code review tools can handle a large amount of code and help ensure the code is compliant with the standards. But how does this actually work? Let’s break down this process & understand it thoroughly.
Step 1: First, take a step and connect the automated code review tool with your code hosting provider and provider enough permissions so that it can access your repositories.
Step 2: These automated tools work on a set of rules against which the lines of code are tested. The second step is usually configuring your tool and adding the set of rules.
Step 3: Some of these tools ask you to select the programming language, so make sure you have chosen the language properly. And that's all! Go ahead and start the testing.
Also Read: Code Review Process
3 Things to Check Before Opting for a Automated Solution
An automated code review tool is the first step toward increasing code quality on your project. What are the elements that should be taken into consideration when choosing an automated code review tool?
With so many different tools on the market, it is easy to get lost in the multitude of options. But here are some things to keep in mind before you decide to go with an automated code review tool.
1. Easy to Use
The most important thing when choosing a tool is whether it is easy to use. Many developers are pretty picky, and they don't want to get used to a new tool if it is too complicated. Look at the interface and think about whether you can use it without effort.
2. Supports Major Programming Languages
If you choose a tool, make sure it supports the programming languages that your project is built on. This is very important because if your tool doesn't support the programming language you're using, it will not be of much use to you.
Accuracy is crucial, especially for automated source code review tools. You want a tool that will help you catch bugs. You don't want one that will create more work for you.
Codiga: The Go-To Solution for Automated Code Reviews
Codiga believes in making automated code reviews a regular part of the overall review process. Implementing an automated code review tool should be easy, and . our team of developers work to ensure that our smart automated code review tool is a seamless and valuable experience for all of our users.
Whether you're a large company or a small business, having automated code reviews can help save you time, money, and effort. With Codiga, you can do real-time code reviews, follow code quality metrics, and ensure that your development team stays on track.
Automated Code Reviews are not the only thing Codiga can help you with. Check out awesome things you can do with Codiga!
Our easy-to-navigate Dashboard below
Code reviews are a crucial part of every codebase. They help to improve quality, fix bugs, and enforce standards. But manual code reviews can be time-consuming and error-prone. That’s why many companies and teams are adopting automated code reviews.
Codiga is a cloud-based automated code review platform that integrates seamlessly with several existing tools. The tool adds an extra layer of security to your code and ensures that the coding best practices are followed.
With Codiga, developers can get access to code snippets & code patterns right within the code editor. We hope you find the blog helpful and if you have any questions, please reach out to us at our email address.