By: Tuba Ayyubi
July 20 2020

Why code review matters

This is part two of the two-part series on the importance of code review and the best practices of doing it. The first part covered  healthy code review practices. The second part will focus on the benefits of performing a code review.

Four hands showing their index finger towards a screen


I hope that by now you are well aware of what a code review is and how to have a positive approach and implement the best practices. Let’s have a quick look at some of the reasons why code review is essential.

Knowledge sharing

Because of a lack of experience, many new developers might be unaware of different techniques that can be applied to their code. Code review helps these newbies understand and gain knowledge and write a better code next time.

While doing a code review with the team, people with different views and ideas collaborate together. This way, people are able to share their ideas and understand the perspectives of the other team members. This also surpasses seniority, everyone is equally involved in sharing different techniques and technologies. Not just junior developers, but also the senior developers get to learn a lot by reviewing code. 

When developers review code with different ideas coming from different people, they write better code. It improves their own programming skills. Newer members of the team bring new perspectives to the code. Often, a few members have hidden knowledge that comes out during the code review. 

Reducing your mistakes

This is one of the most important benefits of code reviews. When there is a pressure of time and budget, you might skip this one. No matter how confident you are about your code, you might miss one or two things. Code review helps you get a fresh eye on your code and to find issues and errors in the code beforehand.

Code reviewers are aware of the complexity of the code and the perspective of the coder. Estimation is a great team exercise. New features when added to the existing code, help the author give better estimation.

Consistent design

Your code should be readable for the reviewers. They should not be left confused with what you were trying to write. Code review enforces a consistent coding style throughout the code. A single project can be distributed to different developers as a project may have many development phases.

If someone in your team is able to write clean code, it is a pleasure to review such code. Reviewing such codes makes you learn and become a better programmer. In fact, this helps the whole team to write cleaner and readable code. 

Code review also enables time off and is an excellent way to take the freedom to work in a different area of work.

Quality code

None of us want to look like a fool in front of our colleagues. Especially when we know that our code is going to be reviewed by one of them. In this case, you will find yourself spending extra time on the code and making it perfect before it’s reviewed.

A managed and well-done code review creates consistency and improves quality across the project. If a team has a code review in place, there is no point of failure because the knowledge is spread across the team.

The code review process acts as a check and balance against various interpretations of the requirements in comparison to the code that is delivered. Also, when the code review is done in a team, it is ensured that you do not fall into the pit created by you on your own understanding and also that something might have been overlooked. This saves you from a lot of questions. 

Lesser or no bugs in the code

I think it is well known by now that code review reduces the chance of any sort of bugs or issues in the code. But let’s remember one thing, that manual testing is always more thorough and efficient than the automated one.

When a code is newly written, some of the mistakes are really hard to find. That’s where the team plays the part. They work together and come up with different ideas and make sure that there are less or no bugs left in the code. They try to question every part of the code from different perspectives and that’s what makes a code cleaner and ready to run.

Conclusion

Code reviews have a lot of benefits, these were some of the major ones. Running a code review in teams brings a lot of difference to the code. As discussed in the earlier article, all it needs is a positive approach towards the project. The mindsets might be different but the practices need to be implemented with a similar approach.