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Code Review

Common Code Review Mistakes

“Making a mistake is not a mistake, but repeating mistakes is certainly a mistake.”

Along with this, there is a way to find mistakes in the code through code review and to improve the quality of the same. Code review can be understood as a systematic process of evaluating and checking the code produced at the development level. This analysis of code is an ideal way to look at code written by four or more eye principles that provide a comprehensive view and opinion.

Different organizations and people have different definitions of code review. It is not a rigid, fixed process that demands a proper format or mechanism. Trial and error is the key! You need to find out what works best for your company and your employees. Code review when done properly can enhance the overall quality of the project by harnessing its full potential. Along with this comes the risk of some mistakes, which should be taken care of while reviewing the code.

  • Close the test:

    Stopping tests or skipping tests is one of the biggest mistakes one can make. A review consists of various tests and reviewing them all can be mundane. The process of repeatedly setting up, asserting, and tearing down code can be boring. This repetition catches us very quickly and forces us to assume that the rest of the tests will be correct. It never happens though! Few tests slip through code reviews to put the whole project at risk. To avoid extra effort, developers usually take a quick look at all tests and come straight to implementation and conclusions.

    Tests are also code that must be reviewed to understand its working and functioning. Ignoring the fact that reviewing tests requires a lot of attention and understanding, brings a lot of benefits. For example, it is better to detect bugs early in the process, as bugs are more often identified later. Therefore, the purpose of a code review is a systematic review of programming source code, with the aim of removing errors made in the original development process and improving the quality of the software being developed.

  • Reviewing only newly added code:

    Code review is an ever-evolving process that goes through various stages of change. During the process, at times certain lines of code may be removed or simply ignored because they may be out of date. What developers overlook is that the code produced is like a well-knit story that needs to be read in one go. When you start to read and accept the code in parts, you drop some of the details.

    When reading a story, you probably don’t like to skip chapters or jump paragraphs because you can lose sight of the concept. And so is the case with code! You need to think of code as a whole, complete story that cannot be broken down or read in parts. Another common mistake seen here is that developers review lines of code that have been recently added to the codebase and leave code that already exists. One should not practice this because the code should be viewed as a whole, single package.

  • Rush:

    A proper code review requires not only time but also calmness. A hasty review can compromise the quality of the code. The worst time for a code review is a few minutes before a demo, release, or deadline. What usually happens in these cases is that the reviewer simply reads the code line by line, rather than reading through the lines. No matter who is at fault, a poorly written code has been included in the codebase thus affecting the entire project. To avoid this, it’s always a better idea to cap off your work well before a presentation or demo.

    Only if you manage your time and do things properly can you get enough time to see changes or improvements. A hasty review can miss out on even the smallest and subtlest mistakes. Another option that will come to your mind is the use of automated review which will certainly reduce human error but still, a hasty or hasty review is never a good option.

  • Ignoring Design:

    Another big mistake that reviewers make when reviewing code is that they neglect their role throughout the process. From its design to its language to its mechanism to its function, it is the reviewer’s responsibility to thoroughly examine the entire code. At times, reviewers overlook the design of the code and focus on the functionality and practicality of the code. But reviewers need to think carefully about the role of code in a framework to understand how it ties in with what’s already there.

    Reviewers should acknowledge the impact of the changes on the overall structure of the code if any. Most changes will not affect it, but those that are significant and important may demand close consideration and observation. In such cases, it is best to consult with other team members and understand their different perspectives.

  • Vague Comments:

    Leaving vague, vague comments in the comments section for the author of the code is another big mistake that reviewers make. Commenting in a monosyllabic fashion isn’t helpful, such as “please fix” on something you don’t like or don’t agree with. How will the developer understand what you mean? Maybe the developer understands this, maybe they don’t have enough expertise to fix it or maybe they don’t think something needs to be fixed. Before you clearly explain what’s wrong with a given piece, you can’t be sure if the developer understood what you mean.

    The reviewer should make it a point to provide an accurate, understandable commentary. You need to be specific and precise about where and what you think is wrong. It’s important to comment directly, to make room for conversation. You need to identify concerns and suggest some ideas to make some room for conversation. Without them, there is no basis for debate or change of opinion.

Conclusion

Ultimately, derailing a code review means more work for everyone, the developer, the reviewer, and the whole team. Problems or mistakes in code review can not only affect the entire work environment but can also poison the team. The above list of common mistakes makes you aware of some of the mistakes that you as a developer or reviewer can make. Code reviews may not always be fun and enjoyable, but they are very important from a professional standpoint.

Code review is an exceptional method, one of the most valuable. You can use it to extend the consistency of a certain code, confront and discuss something with your team, or simply share your information.

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