How to make code review in your team useful? Various techniques can bring code review to life and some of the effective ones are FECE and MoSCoW. ... If all advices given in a code review bring value, it is worth prioritizing expectations. MoSCoW is a technique well adapted in business analysis and project management. It also works in code review process.
For the last decade, I‘ve always had the pleasure of working with development teams where code review has been practiced on daily basis. If somewhere there was no code review in a project when I was joining, I’ve just tried to introduce this process into practice. All this time, I’ve been collecting a lot of experiences, thoughts and consternations that I wish to share with you.
Let’s establish the code review process as soon as possible, because it’s a well-known and opinionated technique.
Such thinking often accompanies us while start with a new project. Thousands of people describe code review as good practices, and hundreds of books confirm it. What can go wrong? Experience shows that everything, because the biggest problem is ourselves and our level of mutual incomprehension.
We, software developers are usually knowledgeable and skilled people, but I notice one thing: programmers often do not have developed skills in giving and receiving feedback. No offence, it doesn’t mean we are different, specific or bad. We just don’t have enough knowledge about it. Simple, but don’t worry. After programming hours, I mentor people, not only about technical things, but about soft ones also, and I can confidently say that the problem of poor skill in providing feedback is a nuisance for all people. Unfortunately.
A combination of good intents for code review and poor feedback skills has nothing to do with it. Unfortunately, good intentions will not help when we have gaps in knowledge. There are many feedback techniques and I can not really say which one is the best, but for sure the ones listed are very good and you can start working with them and try on your own. Opinionated techniques that I used in past are: SBI, FECE, NVC . There is one more “opinionated” techniques so-called the sandwich feedback method, but in my opinion does not bring much value. Moreover, it can even be harmful at times.
As I mentioned, there are many techniques, but the most important thing is to learn at least one and start applying knowledge in practice. In the case of code review, I truly believe that the FECE technique can bring big long-term results.
FECE is an acronym from Facts, Emotions, Consequences and Expectations. Each word covers typical question about subject:
These four simple fact-based points can make any code review a process that delivers quality and improvements. Real quality and real improvements. Because if we write that something needs to be improved, then there is nothing to do with the quality.
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The story of Softagram is a long one and has many twists. Everything started in a small company long time ago, from the area of static analysis tools development. After many phases, Softagram is focusing on helping developers to get visual feedback on the code change: how is the software design evolving in the pull request under review.
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