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Julien Delange Sunday, December 4, 2022

Five Best Practices for Conducting Effective Code Reviews

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Julien Delange, Founder and CEO

Julien is the CEO of Codiga. Before starting Codiga, Julien was a software engineer at Twitter and Amazon Web Services.

Julien has a PhD in computer science from Universite Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France.

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Code reviews are an important part of the software development process, as they allow developers to share their work with their peers and receive feedback on their code. Code reviews can help improve the quality of the code, identify potential issues, and promote collaboration and learning among team members. In this post, we will discuss five best practices for conducting effective code reviews.

Define the goals and scope of the code review

Before starting a code review, it's important to define the goals and scope of the review. This will help everyone involved understand what is expected of them and what should be covered in the review. For example, the goals of a code review might include identifying potential bugs, improving the readability of the code, or ensuring that the code follows the team's coding standards. The scope of the review should include the specific files or modules that will be covered, as well as any specific aspects of the code that should be focused on.

Choose the right reviewers

The success of a code review depends in large part on the people who are conducting the review. It's important to choose reviewers who are knowledgeable about the technology and the domain, and who can provide constructive feedback. In general, reviewers should be familiar with the code that is being reviewed, but it can also be beneficial to have someone who is not as familiar with the code, as they may be able to provide a fresh perspective and identify potential issues that the other reviewers might have missed.

Follow a structured review process

A structured review process can help ensure that the code review is efficient and effective. The exact process will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the team, but it should generally include the following steps:

  • The code author submits their code for review, along with any relevant documentation or test results.
  • The reviewers review the code and provide feedback, either through comments in the code or through a separate discussion forum. It is recommended that reviewers go through a code review checklist.
  • The code author responds to the feedback and makes any necessary changes to the code.
  • The reviewers review the revised code and verify that the changes address the feedback.
  • The code is merged into the main branch, or it is rejected and the code author makes further changes.

Provide constructive feedback

The purpose of a code review is to provide constructive feedback that will help improve the code. Therefore, it's important to provide feedback that is specific, actionable, and respectful. Avoid making personal attacks or making suggestions that are unrealistic or impossible to implement. Instead, focus on specific issues or areas for improvement, and provide suggestions for how the code could be improved.

Use code review tools

Code review tools can make the code review process more efficient and effective. These tools can automate parts of the process, such as tracking feedback and merging changes, and they can provide features that make it easier to review code, such as highlighting changed lines and allowing reviewers to leave inline comments. There are many code review tools available, and the right tool will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the team. Codiga helps you automate code reviews and find security and vulnerabilities before code is pushed into production.

Automate Code Reviews with Codiga

Conclusion

By following these best practices, you can conduct effective code reviews that will help improve the quality of your code and promote collaboration among your team. Code reviews are an important part of the software development process, and following these practices will help ensure that your code reviews are successful and beneficial for your team.

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