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Published: 08/09/2021

Independent code review improves the quality of your software

Independent code review improves the quality of your software

Code review is the first line of defense against bugs, and it can be the last line of defense against the people who are not doing their job right. It is a process of checking the code quality. Internal code review is performed by a peer, usually a senior developer. However, an independent code review should be performed whenever you want to verify the work of the external developer or a team working on your project. 

In this article, we’ll look at what the code review process is, how to prepare for it, and make sure it is done well. 

What is the code review process?

When you have been working on a project for a while, it’s easy to forget the original goal you had in mind when starting it. When you have grown up with the code, it’s also easy to lose track of what it does and how it works.

So how do you find out what your code does? How do you make sure that you didn’t write some nasty stuff? What is the code quality in your project? How do you find the bugs that have slipped through the cracks?

Code review is one of the essential easy-to-understand parts of any project, and it’s the first thing that the developer gets to see when getting his hands on the software that someone else has written.

It is the primary way that programmers get feedback about their code quality, and it is one of the best ways to discover defects in their code.

What is an external code review?

Internal code review is commonly the process of reading the code you’ve written and then asking peer developers who will be working on the code to check the code quality.

The first thing to understand about the external or independent code review is that it’s not the same as the internal code review that developers usually do. 

Independent code review is not only about reading the code and then looking for errors in the code. It’s about looking for mistakes in:

  • the thinking that went into the code,
  • the design of the code,
  • the way the code is organized.

It’s a process of understanding what the code is trying to do and why it was written the way it was written.

Many people believe that the goal of code review is to provide feedback to the developer on the code quality and complexity, and the potential for bugs in the code. While these are valid considerations, the purpose of external code review is to provide feedback on these aspects of the code and the code’s design, structure, and functionality. 

The process of external code review is similar to the process of design review, and it usually involves several people looking at the code. Reviewers check how the code is organized, how it fits together, and how it works.

Remember that the overall code quality determines your project’s scalability and evolvability in the future.

The goal of independent code review

There are many benefits of independent code review for your project. They include:

  • Ensuring that the code is correct.
  • Providing a record of the design decisions made.
  • Documenting the process by which a feature was implemented.
  • Facilitating the maintenance of code.
  • Showing that the code is being tested.
  • Helping developers to focus on the right things.
  • Improving developer’s skills in writing quality code.
  • Providing a benchmark for code quality.
  • Finally, providing a source of new ideas for the development team.

Components of a good code review

Components of a good code review

The code review process can be done well or poorly. It is a fantastic way to find bugs and provide helpful feedback to your team if it is done well. However, it is the worst kind of process if poorly done, with people picking at the minor flaws and even trying to bring others down. 

The worst is when people are sent daily to a code review site to look at other people’s code. It is a massive waste of time, as it does not improve anyone’s skills or knowledge. 

The best way to do a code review is to have one person, perhaps a senior developer, responsible for reviewing all the code and promptly reviewing what is being done for a particular project. In most companies, peer code review is an inseparable part of software engineering. A good code review has three parts:

1. What is the purpose of the code?

The purpose of the code should be to accomplish a specific task. If it is not doing that, it should be rewritten to be doing that.

In a well-designed system, the code should be written to do a specific task. If the code does not do that, then it should be refactored.

2. How well is the code being used?

How well the code is being used is something that should be measured promptly. If a particular module is not being used, then it should be looked at, and the reason why it is not being used should be understood.

A code review should not just be done once a week, but sometimes once a day. If a module is not being used, then that should be investigated.

If the code is not doing what it is supposed to be doing, it should be rewritten.

3. What can be improved?

Good code review does not focus only on pinpointing the flaws of the code but also on providing constructive feedback, which may be used as tips for improvements. The primary goal of code review is to improve your software quality. To do so, one must get directions from the reviewer on which parts of the code should be improved and how to do it most efficiently

How to find a qualified reviewer?

There are some places you can find freelance developers. For example, you can find developers through a freelance marketplace like Upwork or Freelancer. You can search for them through a site like StackOverflow or Indeed as well.

However, choosing a software development company may save you some time and increase your chances of finding the right reviewer. It is relatively easy to check the company’s portfolio and verify if the team is familiar with the technology stack you used in your project. You should also look at their references. If a company has a history of contributing to open source projects, your chances for a quality review increase.

If you’re looking for a reviewer and someone to help you develop your project, you need to make sure you find a developer who’s skilled in the technology you’re using and who can also help you improve your code quality after the review. 

Outsourcing of code review

You can choose to have your code reviewed before it goes into production, or you can wait until your project is live, and then you can look back at it and see what you can improve. External, independent code review is also a great way to check the quality of work delivered by an outsourcing company working on your project.

Outsourcing of code review is the process of asking someone from outside your organization to read and critique your code. It’s a robust process because it can help you avoid problems by coding by yourself. And it’s an opportunity to talk about the code with someone who can offer you insight and perspective unavailable to an internal team.

The most important thing to remember when you choose to outsource code review is to make sure the reviewer is qualified. The reviewer should understand the technology you’re using and identify issues in your code. You also need to make sure the reviewer will be able to give you constructive criticism. They should be able to think critically about the code they’re reviewing and offer suggestions that you can act on.

If you’re looking for a developer to help you with your project, you should also consider their strengths and weaknesses. You should also look at the availability of the developer. If you need someone to be available for a few hours every week, a full-time reviewer will probably not be a great fit.

If you’re outsourcing code review, you’ll need to find someone who has experience with the technology you’re using. They should be able to write easy-to-understand code and identify any issues with the code they’re reviewing. They should also be able to offer you constructive feedback on your code. 

Code review statics for software engineering

Software development requires continuous reviews and testing to maintain satisfactory code quality. What are code review’s best benefits?

  • The yield of the Code Review phase is 50 to 80% better than that of the Test phase.
  • Analysis of over 12,000 software development projects showed that the latent defect discovery rate of formal inspection is in the 60-65% range.
  • The latent defect discovery rate for most forms of testing is about 30%.
  • Only less than 15% of the issues discussed in code reviews are related to bugs.
  • Up to 75% of code review defects affect software evolvability/maintainability rather than functionality.

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