A recent article in Digital Web Magazine discusses the story behind code reviews, and why complex projects with multiple developers can only benefit from the occasional get-togethers. For the uninitiated, code reviews are an opportunity for a team of programmers constructively review each other’s work in order to share, learn, and teach better programming habits and techniques.
“Before we get into the details of how they work, it helps to understand why code reviews are so valuable. On the surface, you might think it’s because they help uncover bugs. But when you look deeper, the value goes far beyond that.
First of all, code reviews get team members involved in different parts of the system than they’re used to. Team members may be so heads-down and intimately involved with one part of the system that they overlook a simple solution that is obvious to someone not as entrenched in the project. Sometimes, two team members working on similar modules discover, through a code review, that they can share more code than they previously thought. This helps reduce redundancy and keeps the team educated about what everyone is doing.
Another benefit is that code reviews encourage consistent coding standards and help ensure that everyone is on the same page. Coding standards may not seem that important, but cleaner code makes it easier for someone else to come in and start working with it. Additionally, coding standards can help prevent common logic errors or other simple mistakes.
One of the more obvious benefits is that your team as a whole will create better code. More sets of eyes increases the quality of the code, so your project will have fewer bugs and be easier to maintain over time.”