Why did we embrace code reviews?

While vetting offshore development teams, one of the teams’ leaders insinuated that Code Reviews is a sign of little or no faith in the teams’ technical skills. Then he proceeded to give us more reasons to abandon this process with his company when he described the process as a poor time management strategy. Since we had about 30 minutes left in our scheduled meeting I thought it was appropriate to share with him and his team the benefits of code reviews. There are two reasons to embrace code reviews:

  1. Minimize bugs in shipped features
  2. We understand that software development is very intensive intellectual work, developers have earned the right to make mistakes to learn from them. Using code reviews allowed us to:

    • Ensure that code match the requirements
    • Code respect our enterprise coding standards
    • Less defects --> less maintenance and bug tracking --> more time to deliver more features --> happier client
  3. We found the process to be a very cheap educational tool (business domain and technology)
  4. Our developers are trained professionals, using the process to flex intellectual muscles and programming superiority will not be tolerated in our organization. When our leads discover code vulnerability, the cease the opportunity to mentor the developers. The process is used to share both business domain and technical knowledge; our team members are familiar with each other’s strength and weaknesses. Peer mentoring is paramount in our organization, we build on each other’s strengths and eliminate weaknesses. Another important reasons to use code reviews is give praise and credit when and where credit is due.

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