the importance of code review

Thu, Mar 3, 2011

One of the best ways to do this is via code reviews where you can peruse recent commits and comment on dodgy looking code, for the developer to pick up and either defend or change. Sometimes it just needs a bit of steering in the right direction.

I do like analogies, especially ones to do with mountain guiding! Something like Crucible is your code quality compass. When you’re being assessed to be a Mountain Leader, for example, even if it’s not your turn to do the navigation, you have to keep on top of what’s happening and where the group is going. At any time, you are expected to be able to point to the map and state in a clear and confident manner, “we are here!”. Similarly, you need to be able to know where you’re going in order to head off potential problems, like a big cliff.

So it is in agile software development. You need to keep on top of the code that is being committed before you end up scratching your head and wondering how on earth you ended up here. In Crap Code Gulch, instead of at the summit of Golden Code Hill!

Code reviews are therefore your Code Compass and something like Crucible is your GPS. Use it to navigate your project through the swamps!

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