14 – Use the power of peer reviews

Table of Contents

Use the power of peer reviews

Goals

Improve software quality, promote shared ownership of code and spread knowledge within a team.

Description

Code reviews can help to improve software quality, promote shared ownership of code and help to spread knowledge about a code base within a team. Issues that are resolved early are cheap issues.

Environment

All

Platform

All

Implementation effort

Minimal - just grab a colleague and present your code ;-). Tool support is helpful though as it decouples the participants and can easily tie in with a CI system.

Applicability

-

Caveats

  • Make sure to create an environment where code reviews are actual peer reviews, not top-down audit-style reviews by a senior developer.
  • Make sure to create an environment where people feel safe to participate.

See also

Implementation hints

  • To support the reviewers and to improve consistency consider a checklist with general issues to look out for.
  • Avoid wasting expensive reviewer time by having a first review stage where the review is done by bots (formatting issues, issues from static checkers, unit tests, spellcheckers, ...).

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