The challenges of code reviews: The 2020 DevSecOps Report discovers that developers are bogged down by code reviews. Are they worth the trouble?
Code reviews are stressful. As a merge request owner, you're giving others an inside look at your abilities and thought processes. As a reviewer, there’s something quite daunting about serving as the last stop before code is merged to the main branch. When teams face uncertain processes, lengthy wait times, and lack of buy-in, an inherently difficult task can soon feel Sisyphean. In GitLab’s 2020 Global DevSecOps Survey, over 3600 software professionals shared their thoughts on code reviews, and the results reinforce that code reviews are a challenging aspect of software development.
Code reviews enable developers to more easily identify bugs, because they’re assessing the code with a fresh perspective. Shipping clean code decreases the likelihood of errors nestling into the main branch. Teams turn to code reviews as a way to share knowledge, mentor newer developers, and ease the burden of development. When everyone reviews code, there is no longer a single point of failure that can halt delivery and risk missing releases or business goals.
Studies show that code reviews increase collaboration, because the process of working together to improve code quality creates a shared ownership of the codebase. Developers work towards a common goal rather than feel proprietary attachment to their lines.
In the 2020 DevSecOps Report, developers candidly shared their views on code reviews, with many highlighting the challenges of ensuring code quality standards. Here’s a look at what developers said about code reviews.
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