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Code Review - Best Practices

Code review is a great learning and knowledge sharing tool not only for the new members of the team but for the long time company veterans as well. Having a code review process in place dramatically improves the code quality and helps detect bugs in an early stage.

Much of what I wanted to write here has already been captured in this great post form smartbear. However, here are the important bits:

 

Author:

  • Size matters. Keep it under 400 lines.
    • For bigger change, break down the review in meaningful chunks.
      • Add TODO comments for future CR.
      • Keep you changes under feature flag or in a separate feature branch to facilitate smaller incremental changes which are not ready to be released in production.

  • Provide a detailed context of the change.
    • I prefer documenting context in commit message and will recommend to follow similar format from Linux project [link]
  • Provide details of tests performed to verify the current change.
    • Unit tests, integration tests, verification in devo environment etc.
  • Review your change before publishing the CR and add necessary annotation to help guide the reviewer.

Reviewer:

  • Take it slow but not longer than 60 minutes.
  • Use checklist of what to look for in code review.
    • Example checklist [link]
  • Read the story and understand the tests.
  • Tone in comment matters.
    • Using tags to communicate helps. Example: [minor], [non blocker], [consider], [breaking] etc.
  • Give praise where deserved.
  • Constructive feedback.
  • Provide code samples and links to learn more. 
Happy code reviewing!






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