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For anyone working with a code developer or who works as one themselves, you’ll want to consider using a code review to catch any errors that the original coder sometimes overlooks. Just as you might ask someone else to check your writing, the same applies to coding, where it’s easy to make a small typo or error when you are working on a large project.

Having a second pair of eyes take a look at your work can save huge issues from occurring and will prevent having to redo hours of work. To ensure this service is something that will be of value to you, there are a few things to consider before using a code review service.

What are code reviews?

Code reviews are a check of your software coding, and the methods used in this process vary substantially. They could involve a simple peer review or a more formal and time-consuming process. Regardless of how in-depth it is, using a code review decreases the chance of submitting work with errors.

It’s always helpful to get a second opinion, and code reviews have now become a common practice within the industry which most professional coders use. They are efficient enough not to slow down the project, and they won’t affect the personal nature and creativity of your work.

Should you use a code review?

In most situations, we would encourage every coder to use a code review. If you are employing someone to work for you, we suggest you ask that they use this service too. There’s nothing wrong with having someone else double-check your work, regardless of how experienced you are.

However, you’ll want to pay attention to methods used when conducting a code review. Any work that is rushed or code that is checked in too large sections may make the review worthless.

Tips for a good code review

In order to achieve a successful code review, there are certain rules and guidelines you’ll want to stick to. These guidelines will improve the quality of the review ensuring your code isn’t just rushed through with errors ignored.

Recommended workload for a code review

When conducting a code review, it’s recommended that the work is broken down into segments less than 90 minutes at a time. Coming into the code review feeling refreshed is essential for this process to be productive. This rule should be applied to your initial coding and can help to minimise errors and typos.

The optimal amount of code to check at a time is between about two hundred and four hundred lines. Any more than this is likely to reduce the quality once again. Speed is not the key to success in code reviews, and quality is far more important than quantity to catch mistakes.

Many code reviewers aim for around three hundred to five hundred lines an hour. But don’t have an arbitrary number in mind as this defeats the idea of a thorough check. When working with a code reviewer, ask them about their work procedure to ensure they are using methods that equate to these numbers.

Ask for feedback

A code review is only useful if the feedback is received along with the corrected work. Ask the developer you are working with to add notes where they’ve noticed issues.  This will identify any problems you may experience down the line.

After using code reviewers a few times, you’ll be able to make a personal checklist that allows you to confirm that certain checks have been completed. You will know what issues regularly occur with your coding, so adjust your checklist to filter for these.

Teamwork

There’s a temptation in any type of work to want to keep all of the glory for yourself. While you always want to take pride in your work and ensure your code is of the highest standard, make sure you don’t have the attitude that no one else can offer support or advice about your work.

Taking criticism is part of growth and will help you improve your skills and learn from others within your industry. Teamwork helps make the coding process more enjoyable for everyone.  There’s no reason not to involve colleagues and managers.

Complete the final checks yourself

While you will likely select someone to review your code who you trust, if the final project is submitted under your name, always complete the last review yourself. Once you have identified issues, test again to ensure there are no bugs or functional problems.

By having a goal in mind for your coding and review, you can decide whether this tool is useful for you and whether your goals are met. However, don’t just trust the word of someone else when it comes to your work. Double-check everything yourself to ensure errors that are fixed now work. You don’t want to end up submitting code with the same issues.

Using a code review service can save you a lot of hassle and time in the long run. There’s absolutely no shame in using other people to double-check your work. Ensure the reviewer doesn’t rush the job as this will make the process worthless.

However, when you find a good reviewer to partner with, you’ll find this process can help you to continue to learn more about coding. This is whether you are working on it yourself or employing someone else to complete the task.

If you’re thinking about launching your own project, speak to BSPOKE Software.  We have developed many exciting apps and web portals which you can read more about here.