What to Expect from a Code Review

Here’s a common scenario:

A customer asks us for a code review. They have an app that was well-coded—or so they think—and want to double-check a few things before making it public.

We do our due diligence and start the review. As we dig deeper, we discover a host of bugs, performance issues, and downright questionable coding decisions. This is a clear indication that the app is not ready for primetime.

With our expertise and guidance, we can perform a code rescue and help clients get their apps in tip-top shape, but it all starts with the code review.

What exactly is a code review, and should you consider it for your app project? Let’s find the answer.

What is code review?

Code review is like the bouncer at a club – it checks who’s coming in, makes sure they’re not a hot mess and keeps the party running smoothly. But instead of drunk partygoers, it’s the code that needs a once-over.

Code review is an essential process in application development. It involves a team of expert developers checking pre-written code for mistakes, logic errors, and compliance with coding standards. It’s like having a second set of eyes to catch any slip-ups or oversights that can negatively impact the final product.

Code review goes beyond just spotting errors. It’s also an opportunity for your team to learn from seasoned developers. By observing how someone else tackles a problem, your dev team can glean new techniques and enhance their skill set. It’s a valuable chance to exchange knowledge and perfect apps before launch.

Why code review matters

If you’re thinking, “Why bother with code reviews when I’ve already tested my code, and it runs fine?” then you might be missing the bigger picture. Code reviews are not just about making sure your code works—they’re about making sure your code is efficient, readable, and can be easily used by your peers.

Code reviews can also improve collaboration and consistency among team members. When developers work on code individually, each may have its own unique style and approach. This can make it challenging for others to adapt and work with their code. Code review helps promote the same coding practices, making it easier for team members to build together and for new developers to adopt the code.

Nearly 75% of successful software developers use peer code reviews, and bigwig development organizations have reported major gains in accuracy and productivity thanks to these reviews. Take AT&T, which reported a 14% boost in productivity and a 90% reduction of defects after they began conducting code reviews.

So, even though code review might seem like just another item on your to-do list, it’s actually a crucial part of building a great, highly functional app.

When are code reviews done?

There’s no best time to request a code review. However, I recommend doing so before merging code into the main branch (aka source code).

In the code review process, authors (who write the code and create Pull Requests) and reviewers (who examine the code) play crucial roles. The process can be carried out in various places, such as developers’ machines or online platforms.

If a change to the code is too big to review all at once, a code review team can break it up into smaller pieces that can be reviewed individually. This collaborative code analysis helps a team to thoroughly review changes and ensure they don’t cause issues with the rest of the code.

What to expect from the code review

If you’re new to code reviews, it’s natural to feel a little anxious. You might get thoughts like, “Am I going to be torn apart by senior developers?” or, “Will my code be good enough?”. Well, take a deep breath and relax because most code reviewers are on your side.

When you request a code review, the assigned developers will offer suggestions for following coding standards, writing cleaner code, improving readability, and more. Plus, they will help your team identify where their strengths lie, know what types of thinking to apply in future projects, and get immediate feedback on creative ideas.

The code review process is also essential for quality upkeep—it helps prevent the codebase from deteriorating as the company continues making progress in building the applications.

A consistent codebase offers several benefits, from low maintenance costs to higher velocity of engineering teams. Achieving this requires constant attention to technical excellence as part of the code analysis process.

What’s the process?

In a code review, developers follow a systematic approach to ensure that the code is properly evaluated.

First, they try to understand the purpose of the code so that they can give helpful feedback during the review.

Secondly, they frame their mindset based on their level of familiarity with the codebase or language, their relationship with the author, and so on.

Next, developers test the code to see if it works as intended. During this step, they may also test out the user interface. Once done, they’ll use naming conventions and error handling to inspect the code and ensure it’s well-written.

Finally, they compile the review in a way that suits the situation. This could be a formal report or comments on the code on a website like GitHub.

Over to you

While code review may not seem like the most exciting part of the development process, the benefits make it worth its weight in gold. It’s not just about fixing mistakes but about continuous improvement and growth as a developer.

If you’re looking to take your development process to the next level, consider partnering with Dazlab. Our team of experts can guide you through the code review process. We can help with any code restructuring you may need so that you can reach your development goals.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you streamline your development process and deliver top-quality products.

Infographic

Code review ensures polished, efficient code through expert evaluation. It enhances collaboration, consistency, and learning. Peer reviews boost accuracy and productivity. Best done before merging; it prevents potential issues. Expect suggestions for standards, readability, and growth. Embrace code review for continuous improvement and collaboration. Industry experts guide you through the process, refining your code and aligning projects.

5 Code Review Guidelines Infographic

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What to Expect from a Code Review
Darren-Clark-dazlab-founder

Darren Clark

Dazlab Founder

“I started Dazlab because there’s a huge knowledge deficit between people who want software built and those that build the software. I watched again and again as non-tech product owners with great ideas overpaid for complicated solutions to simple problems, or underpaid only to end up with crummy products with little chance of lasting. Tech doesn’t have to be that way. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it well or what’s the point?. Even now, 20 years later I’m still heavily involved in the onboarding process with every one of my clients.”

Darren Clark

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