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Coding standards help the software developers in making well-designed programs by reducing complexity. Sometimes in team working, you share a code with other team members, so the codes must be easy to read, extendable, and easy to modify. To ensure all these qualities in a code, reviewers check the quality standards, and the process is called code reviews. This article will discuss code reviews, their features, and their seven important steps.

What are code reviews?

Code reviews are the software quality assurance task in which all concerned people check a program by reviewing the parts of its source codes. For reviewing the code, a person must be other than the author. Moreover, the person who reviews others’ coding is termed the reviewer. The main goal of code reviews is to find the quality problems in the codes. But usually, the reviewers have to perform several tasks to reach the desired goals. The prime duties of code reviewers include better code quality, finding defects in someone else’s work, increasing the sense of responsibility, finding better solutions, knowledge transfers, and following the QA guidelines. These duties also vary as the review types vary. Different types of reviews include management reviews, inspections, audits, technical reviews, and walk-thoughts.

Generally, the code reviewer must look at the following things while checking the quality of the other’s piece of code;

1.1 Design: Whether a code is well-designed and suitable for a given system.

1.2 Functionality: Does the code behave in the way the author wants it to behave?

1.3 Comments: Are all comments logical?

1.4 Documentation: Whether the developer updated the reviewer with all relevant documentation.

1.5 Style: Are codes following the style guide?

1.6 Naming: What type of naming system did the developer use in coding?

1.7 Test: Does the code have well-designed and correct automated tests?

1.8 Complexity: Can we make a code simpler? What is the complexity level of the code?

Consequently, the code reviews are not just reading and checking the quality of the code. Rather, it includes several aspects such as test, design, complexity, naming, style, documentation, and functionality to be monitored.

What is a good code review?

After knowing what code reviews are, it is time to consider some important qualities of good code reviews. In software development, the success of a program depends on the good codes. Good codes help us in making scalable and maintainable systems for a longer period. In simple words, the best code is the one that is easy to change. Thus, a good code review must aim to ensure the following features in codes:

  1. Understandable
  2. Scalable
  3. Well-designed
  4. Extendable
  5. Reusable
  6. Error-free

Along with all these qualities, the code review should follow the guidance of the project to achieve the main goals of coding.

What are the seven steps to reviewing code?

In software development, code reviews or peer reviews help developers to speed up the development process. But for writing it, one should aim to provide constructive feedback. Furthermore, it must improve the quality of the project. Thus, for fulfilling all these responsibilities, the reviewer can use the following seven steps:

Establish goals

As explained earlier, code review is not only the process of finding bugs and errors in someone else’s work, but it also aims to improve the overall quality of the project. Thus, the first step must be to define the goals or objectives for code reviews based on the nature of the project.

Initially, read the code without paying more attention to minor details

The second step in this QA process must be to read the code as early as possible. At this step, you just need to take an overview of the project to provide a first impression shortly after receiving the file.

Use a ticketing system

In the software development process, comments and discussions on any official platform are necessary to improve the quality of the project. For this, a ticket system is a great option. In this system, any proposed change in a project is the ticket. This ticket should explain the changes, their reasons, and the importance of the changes. Thus, the ticket system aims to make the changes visible to all the members of a team to refine the quality of the code.

Run automated tests

Automated testing is the software tool that works to perform the reviewing task for finding any bugs in coding. These tests are good for locating the tiny errors by considering the line after lines of errors. This is a potential way to find the errors by reviewing how they affect the whole application. It allows you to create more tickets and provides more ways for more discussions.

Do the changes as per the test suggestion

After running the automated test in coding, you will have a long list of suggestions. This is the step to alter the code as per the test’s suggestions. The other tasks that you should do include seeing the effects of the changes, knowing the problems that may arise due to changes, and estimating the resources necessary to perform the changed task.

Again read the code and focus on the minor details

Step six in codes review is considering the minor details for further elimination of the errors. At this step, you must need to locate the style, documentation, name, complexity, functionality, and design-related concerns to complete the quality assurance.

Be confident in the submission of the evaluation

Once you have eliminated all potential errors, the last step in code reviews is to remain confident while submitting your evaluation.

4. Is code reviews a waste of time?

On one side of the picture, code reviews are extremely important for the submission of a high-quality and error-free project. Flipping the picture slows down the process of software development. This process increases the time of completion of a project as the developer has to wait for the comments of the reviewer, while the reviewer also has to wait for the developer to make the desired change. Thus, at least for these two entities (developer and reviewer), the process of code reviews is a waste of time in some cases, but not in all.

Consequently, we can say that code reviews simply refer to a quality assurance process. It aims to make error-free, easy to read, and extendable codes for better software development. Thus, the code reviewer cross-checks the main goals, design, complexity, flexibility, and functionality of the code and suggests changes to the developers for quality enhancement. Apart from all, it is a time-consuming process; it often wastes developers’ and reviewers’ time while exchanging comments.

Author Bio:

Robert Fawl is a professional Content writer & Content Marketer. Based in London, Robert is an author and blogger with experience in encounter composing on various topics including but not limited to Essay Writing, Dissertation Writing, Thesis Writing Services, Assignment Writing, etc.

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