Streamlining Your Code Review Process

When you’re engaging in a code review, there is an unwritten contract between you and your team – that everyone involved is doing their best effort to make the process as quick and smooth as possible. There are two parties involved: the author and the reviewers and each comes with their own responsibilities to ensure a smooth process.

Author

Before anyone sees the work that will be reviewed, there is some diligence that should be done on the part of the author. Over the course of my career, I found the following set of criteria has helped get my own work reviewed, tested, and shipped faster.

  • Keep changes to 500 lines
  • Separate functional reviews from refactoring efforts
  • Require 2 approvals
  • Present changes and context clearly through documentation
  • Add testing notes to have reviews validate behavior
  • Ensure unit test coverage of new code
  • Be responsive to feedback
  • Aim to merge review in two days
  • Meet in person if there is confusion about change

“Pair up in threes.”

Yogi Berra

Reviewer

Beyond holding the author to the above criteria, the following additional set of guidelines compliments the author responsibilities quite well:

  • Be thorough in your review
  • Categorize logical concerns and stylistic feedback as such
  • Test out the changes
  • Keep feedback positive and constructive
  • Be responsive to feedback