Code Review is a crucial part of software development. Code Review, also called as Peer Code Review, is the act of deliberately and systematically coordinating with fellow programmers to verify each other’s code for mistakes. A code review helps developers enhance the quality of code before merging and shipping it. It serves as a quality assurance of the code base. It is a methodical assessment of code designed to identify bugs, improve code quality, and aid developers learn the source code. It also accelerates and streamlines the process of software development like no other practice can.
When done accurately, code reviews save time, streamline the development process upfront and significantly reduce the volume of work required later of QA teams. Reviews can also save money, particularly by identifying the types of bugs that might escape undetected through testing, production, and into the end-users’ laptops, whose reviews may lead to a decline in the sales of your product.
Code reviews also deliver a few additional, more human-centric ROI. Work environments that encourage programmers to coordinate on their code tend to promote more effective communication and camaraderie, share a sense of ‘ownership’ for any piece of code, provide an invaluable educational context for junior developers, better ways to write clean code, solve generic problems with useful shortcuts, and visually identify any number of potential sources of trouble, such as memory leaks, buffer overflows, or scalability issues. Code review makes it effortless for an organization to curate, govern, and manage the lifecycle of digital artifacts beyond the source code.
Developing a strong code review process sets a foundation for continuous improvement and prevents unstable code from being shipped to customers. The code review process also plays a vital role in disseminating knowledge throughout an organization. In the 2022 Global DevSecOps Survey, 76% of developers who participated in the survey considered code reviews as ‘very valuable.’
Let us now examine the best practices for performing an effective code review. A code review process varies from team to team; it’s an approach that requires customized changes according to the projects and members involved. The following are 7 best practices to keep in mind while analyzing your code.
In a Manual Code Review (MCR), the source code is read line by line to assess for potential vulnerabilities. This involves a lot of skills, experience, and patience. The issues or errors identified via this method will significantly help to increase the organization’s efficiency. But there are a few disadvantages with such a method.
Automated Code Review (ACR) is a process comprising the analysis of the code using smart ACR tools. It involves the analysis of the code to identify the vulnerabilities. ACR saves the time and effort required in MCR. The following are a few of the advantages of performing ACR:
Several best practices relating to code review specify that you should not review more than 400 lines of code during any given review to ensure you are not overlooking any defects. Opsera’s ACR tool ensures that you need not wait for the work to accumulate before checking for accuracy. Our ACR will provide you immediate feedback on the code you write as you write it, which implies that your projects will be consistent right from the inception. When you have this tool, it means you can be rest assured that your work is accurate and safe as you continue to build it.
Regular code reviews should not be done at the eleventh hour to ensure the previous work you have completed is flawless. At Opsera, we believe that code reviews are a long-term and not a short-term thing, and by continuously checking the accuracy and quality of your code in real-time, you will not be compelled to spend several hours making plenty of last-minute changes before submitting for MCR. Our ACR tool can also be customized, implying that you can define categories or rules that are specific to the tasks you are working on.
When you have a smart tool that can be customized based on compliance-related criteria, then you and your team can save a lot of time on every single type of audit. ACR enables you to equip yourself with the appropriate checks and balances to ensure every line of code your team creates is compliant with various regulations.
We always want to be swift at code review. A critical aspect is how developers squander their time in the process of code reviewing. Code reviews (pull requests, commit validation or approval) can be monotonous and draining. Below are a few aspects garnered from people who are doing it right. These are small hints from users that greatly help.
The advantages of code reviews are no longer questioned. Automating the code review process has become one of the hottest trends in software engineering.
There is a need for a method that can employ the tool-based code review and eliminate the indirect dependency to get swifter results. The solution to this is ACR tools.
In the recent years, there has been a deluge of ACR tools. Several industry experts are comparing what code review tools are doing to engineering with what Salesforce did to sales.
Tools enhance speed and accuracy. They integrate with your existing stack and software development process to ensure they don't disrupt your flow. For instance, many Git tools already contain pull requests to launch the code review process. A pull request allows you to discuss and review the code changes with your team of collaborators before the changes are merged into the base branch.
However, this is mostly still a manual process that can cause significant delays in review time. What happens if no one attends to your pull request? In such instances, will you merge without a review or merely with a basic review? In this case, the whole point of code review becomes meaningless if it leads to a high risk of introduction of bugs into production.
For this reason, a new set of ACR tools have emerged in the market. ACR tools have two primary benefits:
Opsera’s continuous orchestration platform provides self-service toolchain automation. With Opsera, development teams can use the tools they want, operations teams can gain enhanced efficiency, and business leaders can have unmatched visibility.