You know you are wise when you insure your property—your house, your car. No one knows what the future holds. It is a comfort to know you have a safety net.
You must also be wise with your software development projects. They, too, are your assets. You must protect them as much as you are able.
Project development has its own risks. You need insurance for it. Arranging a code review is such insurance. Why?
Code review means each piece of code one developer writes, another developer checks. The developer could be a team member or an invited expert. They both check another person’s work with a fresh eye and mind.
For an on-going project, developers review each piece of code before checking it into the main project code. This reduces bugs and flaws in the main code. It also saves time and cost for the integration testing!
For complete pieces of code, a code review serviceis necessary to find out if program re-usage is feasible.
There might—or might not—be errors. There is no guarantee. But if there are any errors, the code review detects risks during the development stage. By fixing errors early, you save time and money. Time/money costs for fixing errors at later stages of development increases drastically. Errors left undetected until after production could be a nightmare!
Code review vs testing – what is the difference?
You might ask, “Isn’t quality assurance an integral part of each project? Isn’t it a bit excessive to make developers check each other’s work in addition to standard testing practices?”
The answer is that both the testing process and code review process play a similar role in quality assurance. Similar—yet different. They are equally effective, but one does not replace the other.
Best practice is to use them both.
The purpose of testing is to find out how the software behaves in various situations. Testing is organized through a set of often-automated test scenarios (Unit Tests). The testing process output is a list of bugs and feedbacks reported by testers for developers. This list describes cases when the system behavior differed from what was required or expected.
In other words, testing is aimed at the quality of system behavior.
The purpose of code review is to evaluate the quality of the program code and programming approach. This term includes, but is not limited to, the following parameters:
Code review process cannot be automated. It is always done manually. And, it is often done by a team, not by a single expert. This means that several pairs of fresh eyes and brains can take note of things not included in automated tests. Moreover, they can evaluate the software code picture as a whole, not only by separate pieces/scenarios covered by testing.
When do you need a code review?
You can ask for code review as a service in the following cases:
1. Your project is under development.
You would like to help your development team.
You would like to ensure your software code corresponds to high-quality standards.
You have concerns regarding the development team’s skills.
You have concerns regarding the produced code quality.
The project development process is different from the planned one.
In the above case, the purpose of a code review is to provide you and the development team with independent, expert feedback on code quality. There is still an opportunity to fix uncovered flaws.
2. Your project is not complete, but you would like to switch to another development team.
In this case, the code review is often initiated by the new development team to ensure they can work with the existing code base. If the code quality is very poor, it makes more sense to start development from scratch. It makes no sense to expand on faulty code.
3. Your project is complete. Now, you would like to expand it with new functionality.
In this case, the code review might be initiated by the team working on your project from the very beginning. The purpose of code review here is to decide whether the existing project architecture can handle new expansion or if the team should change it. And, if so—how.
Code review as a service – what does it look like?
You invited an external team to provide code review as a service for your project.
It is important this team is well-versed in development technology your project development team uses. It is also beneficial if the team knows the business domain for which your application is intended.
When choosing a code review provider, remember to check the following:
- What experience and qualifications do the providers have? Do they have similar projects in their portfolio?
- How will they handle the code review process? What tools will they use for this purpose?
- For on-going projects, how will they integrate with the development team for quick and easy source code review?
- What do they need to start the code review process?
- In what format will they provide the code review results? What kind of documentation will they provide?
- Does the team respect confidentiality and the ownership rights?
Here at IT Craft we provide professional-level code review as a service.
We have had very different situations when clients requested a code review, including on-going projects such as incomplete programs or applications developed a long time ago. You need never worry about your project status. We check it and provide a detailed report on code quality. We also explain what can be done to meet your goals in project development.