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  • Writer's pictureJakub Olech

Code review, what is it?

Webchefs_Software _for_humans_code_review_article

Every programmer, early in their career and likely later, will encounter the term "code review." This term, which might seem intimidating to some, refers to the process where another team member checks all or part of the code for overall correctness and functionality. The main goal of this practice is to ensure the best possible solutions are implemented, which is crucial for the project's success.

Unfortunately, code reviews are sometimes overlooked due to time constraints and other urgent tasks. This oversight can negatively affect both the team and the code quality. Despite tight schedules, including code review in your development process is beneficial. What advantages does a thorough code review offer?

Practice for clean code

First and foremost, code review ensures the code is clean and error-free, which is its most significant benefit but not the only one. It also presents an important learning opportunity for the entire team. Feedback received during the review helps the coder correct mistakes and avoid them in the future. Ideally, the review should be conducted by someone highly experienced, like a team leader, who can quickly identify potential errors and suggest more effective or more straightforward solutions. However, this isn't a strict rule.

Even a highly respected expert programmer can learn from less experienced colleagues and discover innovations. A fresh perspective is as valuable as thoroughness and concentration in examining code segments during a code review.

Benefits for the whole team

Reviewing code from someone else requires an open mind and respect for different approaches. It's an opportunity to recognize that alternative solutions might be viable and sometimes superior to what we've been using. Code reviews offer a chance to learn new methods and techniques.

Moreover, when the whole team can access the code, members can become familiar with parts of the system they usually wouldn't work with. This process unifies the project and establishes effective work practices. Through careful review, most team members deepen their understanding of the code at every stage, ensuring it is well-refined, clear, and of the highest quality.

However, code review is time-consuming and can be taxing. An experienced professional might quickly become weary, and a less experienced team member might need more skills. Therefore, finding a balance is crucial in code review to leverage everyone's strengths effectively.

Code review is a critical aspect of a programmer's job

Code reviews significantly impact the quality of the software. Reviewing every line of code in a project can be pivotal to its success. Some programmers might shy away from code reviews for fear of criticism. Still, it's vital to recognize that constructive feedback fosters growth, and not all comments are negative. The code can also serve as inspiration and motivation for the team. Overcoming the fear of code review and being open to evaluating your work is critical. Ultimately, code review is a practice that boosts the entire team's skills, enhances future coding efforts, makes work more efficient, and helps prevent errors.

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