10 Commandments of Successful Code Reviews

Unal Patel

October 5, 2022


If you are the submitter in a code review, it is essential to remember that you have more knowledge about the code than the reviewer. As such, you should be upfront and honest about this. Avoid bullshitting or nitpicking, and try to focus on the core issues and reasons for tension.

Code reviews are a communication process.

Code reviews can be a very effective way to surface defects and other software design issues before they make it to production. While they can seem like a pain at first, they will help you keep your team on track and maintain good performance for years to come. To start, however, you need to set up a code review process that will work for everyone.

The most important part of a code review is communication. A code review process is a collaborative process where both parties can learn from each other’s contributions and improve the quality of the codebase. In order to improve the code quality, reviewers should question the developer’s decisions, particularly when they seem to conflict with the original intent of the code.

They promote cross-collaboration

Whether you’re leading a team of developers, or a product team, you’ll want to promote cross-collaboration wherever possible. As a leader, you can start by setting goals and prioritizing collaboration. Also, ensure that your organization has a clear sense of what it expects from all of its teams. Make sure to leave room for continuous improvement and ensure that your team members’ contributions are visible to the rest of the organization.

Successful code reviews promote cross-collaboration by encouraging team members to share knowledge, which makes it more likely to solve problems efficiently. Many programmers work in isolation, so sharing knowledge and expertise is essential for a resilient team. By encouraging cross-collaboration, code reviews encourage developers to interact with one another and use team knowledge to raise their own skills. This process fosters trust among colleagues and can even help identify bugs earlier.

They prevent misunderstandings

In order to achieve a successful code review, the developers need to understand the way that developers in different cultures approach the review process. This understanding can lead to healthier communication practices and shift the focus away from perfection to collaboration. As a result, misunderstandings and code disputes are less likely to occur.

Code reviews should involve at least three people. This way, the reviewer and the developers can discuss their concerns and help each other resolve a disagreement. In addition, the third person can break ties that might lead to endless debate. If the two developers involved in a code review disagree, this can slow down the project and lead to misunderstandings.

They avoid nitpicking

Successful code reviews should not become a game of nitpicking. A code review is meant to help the developer and mentor the reviewer, not to pounce on trivial mistakes that may not matter. Nitpicking can also frustrate developers and waste time. Here are a few simple tips to avoid nitpicking.

First, do not nitpick the code structure. This is counterproductive and diverts attention from more important comments. When a code reviewer nitpicks the code structure, he should mark the comment as low priority. While this is not a perfect solution, it can be helpful in certain cases.

They avoid omission findings.

Omissions are the most challenging defects to find during code reviews and, as such, are often the least effective. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid omissions and have a successful code review process. The best method is to use a checklist. A checklist can be a valuable tool in identifying common mistakes and in developing processes to reduce the number of errors and improve overall quality.

They are a bottleneck.

Using a bottleneck as a bottleneck is not an effective code review process. The reviewer has to check for design changes, handling errors, and log and test cases. In short, the code reviewer must not insert his or her personal preferences into the review process. Instead, code reviews should be a process to preserve quality and meet standards. To be effective, code reviews must be a compromise between efficiency and effectiveness.

One common mistake that software engineers make is misinterpreting the role of code reviews. It takes an hour or so for the code to reach the review stage. Every hour it takes to complete this step means less new code that can be integrated into the application.