Code Review Tools for Developers
Code review is a part of the software development process which involves testing the source code to identify bugs at an early stage. A code review process is typically conducted before merging with the codebase.
In this blog, we’ll explain what code review is and explore popular code review tools that help organizations with the code review process.
What Is the Code Review Process?
The primary goal of the code review process is to assess any new code for bugs, errors, and quality standards set by the organization. An intangible benefit of the code review process is the collective team’s improved coding skills.
If you would like to initiate a code review process in your organization, you should first decide who would review the code. If you belong to a small team, you may assign team leads to review all code. In a larger team size with multiple reviewers, you could enable a process in which every code review is assigned to an experienced developer based on their workload.
The next consideration for you is to decide on timelines, rounds, and minimal requirements for submitting code review requests.
The final consideration is about how feedback should be given in the code review process. Make sure you highlight the positive aspects of the code while suggesting alternatives for drawbacks.
Your feedback should be constructive enough to encourage the developer to understand your perspective and initiate a conversation when necessary.
Why Is Code Review Critical?
Code review is critical for the following reasons:
· Ensure that you have no bugs in code.
· Minimize your chances of having issues.
· Confirm new code adheres to guidelines.
· Increase the efficiency of new code.
How to Perform a Code Review?
There are four ways to conduct code reviews.
1. Over-the-Shoulder Code Reviews
Over-the-shoulder code reviews are done on the developer’s workstation, where an experienced team member walks through the new code, providing suggestions through a conversation. It is the easiest approach to code reviews and does not require a pre-defined structure.
Over-the-shoulder code reviews were traditionally done in person, while distributed teams can follow this method through collaborative tools as well.
2. Email Pass-Around
In this code review process, a developer emails a diff of changes to the whole development team, usually through version control systems that automate notifications. This email initiates a conversation on the changes, where team members may request further changes, point out errors, or ask for clarifications.
3. Pair programming
Pair programming is a continuous code review process. Two developers sit at a workstation, but only one of them actively codes whereas the other provides real-time feedback.
While it may serve as a great tool to inspect new code and train developers, it could potentially prove to be inefficient due to its time-consuming nature. This process locks down the reviewer from doing any other productive work during the period.
A tool-assisted code review process involves the use of a specialized tool to facilitate the process of code review. A tool generally helps you with the following tasks:
· Organize and display the updated files in a change.
· Facilitate a conversation between reviewers and developers.
· Assess the efficacy of the code review process with metrics.
A Closer Look at 12 Powerful Code Review Tools
There are the most popular static code review tools.
1. Review Board
The code review process plays a key role when it comes to boosting the efficiency of your organization. Specifically, taking advantage of the right code review tool is what helps you to remove redundancy in your development cycle.
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