Code reviews are a crucial step in software development since they are a systematic inspection that can identify and fix bugs like memory leaks and buffer overflows.
By enhancing code quality at an early stage of the software development process, an efficient code review helps to prevent defects and errors from finding their way into your project. In addition to providing exercise for novice code reviewers, this article describes the Fetchly code review techniques.
Code review is a critical part of the software development process, which involves reviewing source code to identify errors, potential security vulnerabilities, and areas for improvement. As a result, code quality can be significantly increased, making it a crucial component of the software development lifecycle.
When conducted properly, code reviews speed up the development process and significantly reduce the work required by QA teams. Whether a software development manager or a front-line programmer, you shouldn’t disregard the enormous benefits of code reviews or inspections.
Reviews can also help save money, especially by discovering the defects that could otherwise make it through testing, production, and on end users' laptops without being noticed. At Fetchly, code reviews are an essential aspect of software development that is always considered when developing web/mobile apps.
Code Review Techniques
After a software developer has finished writing, conducting a code review is crucial to the software development process. Code review provides a second perspective on the solution and implementation of codes before it is merged into an upstream branch, such as a feature branch or the main branch. And here are three standard code review techniques that are frequently used:
- Over-the-shoulder reviews:
In an over-the-shoulder review, two developers—the author and reviewer—collaborate physically or virtually via a shared screen. The author justifies the solutions that were ultimately decided upon while explaining the final change proposal. Similar to how team members communicate during pairing sessions, the reviewer provides recommendations and asks questions. And during the review, the author can make minor adjustments while noting more significant ones for a later time.
2. Merge Request:
This is a type used at Fetchly, and it involves when a more senior dev analyzes the code of the others and suggests changes, and this can be done either via shared screen and going over the code together, or the senior dev does the analysis by himself and provides the feedback as needed.
If all is right, the merge would be accepted; otherwise, it would be rejected, and the senior dev would also point out what changes should be made and added; this is a prevalent and effective method.
3. Tool-assisted evaluations;
Teams may leverage tools to reduce time and guarantee the best caliber code. Tool-assisted reviews can contain features like static application security testing (SAST) to help find and fix vulnerabilities, or they can gather modified files and show the differences.
And here at Fetchly, we use the CodeScene Software
to facilitate the code review process, as it is an efficient approach to enforcing code standards, uncovering vulnerabilities, giving feedback on the code quality, and gathering metrics; the ideal way to view the use of this software is that its evaluation serves as a supplement to other types of reviews. Tools should be a continuation of code reviews and a tool to improve the procedure.
Practices for Reviewing Code
Evaluating a code often entails determining whether it passes test cases, contains flaws, repetitive lines, and other potential problems that could affect the software's effectiveness and quality.
A code review procedure varies from team to team; it is a method that requires only minor adjustments depending on the projects and participants. Following these practices from the Fetchly Dev Team will serve as a guide to help you review a code efficiently:
- Establish objectives and standards;
The Fetchly Team decides on the key metrics and sets clear objectives before creating a code review process. And among these objectives are having acceptable coding standards within the organization and a set of measures to guarantee that each piece of software created within the organization complies with company standards.
- Establish a Code Review Procedure;
A code review process is established once the objectives and expectations are decided upon and made known to all concerned. A clearly defined code review procedure will aid in keeping the project managers, developers, and Q/As on schedule and reduce the time spent on technical debt.
- Develop a code review checklist;
A well-defined checklist is necessary for a thorough code review, and the reviewer can utilize this checklist to ensure nothing is overlooked.
- Create a procedure for fixing defects;
Fetchly has a well-defined procedure for fixing errors found during code reviews, ensuring that it is completed quickly and with the least amount of technical debt possible.
Create a positive code review ethic;
Code reviews should be utilized beyond developer performance evaluation, which is how they are frequently employed in businesses. It should be used to create a learning environment. At Fetchly, this involves more than just reporting their errors to developers; it also provides a way for them to figure out how to fix them and prevent future mistakes.
Developers go out of their way to ensure that the tests pass and the code is well-designed, which can assist in providing that the review will go well. Also, this attention to detail makes the coding process go more swiftly and efficiently.
Don't wait for a code review if feedback is required early in the development cycle. Be bold and involve people whenever possible because early and frequent feedback leads to more substantial code. Your work will improve as a result, and your teammates' code reviews will also improve.
*This is not the official Fetchly opinion but the opinion of the writer who is employed by Fetchly*