Code Reviews Are Good

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[ 2006-August-22 20:02 ]

I am currently working in an environment with mandatory code reviews for the first time. Before this point, I never really believed all the literature that recommends code reviews as a good way to improve code quality. However, I am now convinced. The code reviews have three benefits. First, it ensures that the design of the software has a certain regularity, and is readable by more than one person. This works well with having well-defined coding standards. Second, it helps to spread knowledge around the development team. Frequently, someone will attempt to reimplement something that already exists elsewhere in the codebase just because they weren't aware that there was an alternative. Third, it helps keep developers honest and stops them from taking ugly shortcuts. Finally, it does on occasion catch a legitimate bug. However, I think the other advantages are much more important.