How to Give Better Code Reviews

Wikipedia defines code review as a systematic examination of computer source code to improve the overall quality of software. In his blog post, Joel Kemp provides some propositions on how to give better code reviews.

Joel Kemp starts hist by explaining that code reviews are a key tool create knowledge transfer and spread best practices throughout a development team. There are at least two phases in code reviews and most people stop at the first and less valuable phase where only the obvious issues are examined. The second phase is the contextual pass where participants examine issues like adequate usage of frameworks/libraries or a satisfactory test coverage. During this phase, Joel Kemp advice to be cautious of how you ask questions: you should suggest approaches or provoke exploration and not try to deliver solutions.

The conclusion of the post is that “[…] reviewing code is as much of a craft as writing code. As reviewers, it’s our mission to improve on a number of fronts: our ability to understand code; our process, awareness, and criteria for analysis; and our teammates’ ability to write correct diffs.”

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