How Important Is Code Review In QA?
- November 27, 2020
- Hiba Sulaiman
Being in the software industry we often hear the term code review. However, the concept of code review is often misunderstood. Code reviews are often overlooked in the software development process as testers feel performing testing should be adequate to validate the application from various aspects. And they often tend to ignore the need for a code reviewing process. However, neglecting the need for a code review process could result in major consequences. Another misconception is that code reviews are the sole responsibility of the development team. This is not true. Code review is a process that does not only involve developers but QA experts and product managers as well. While testers are responsible to ensure that the goals have been met in terms of functionality, user experience, and user acceptance. The idea is to look at any issues in an application before it is released so that there should be no surprises.
What is a Code Review?
The most interesting thing about a code review is that it does not have a proper definition. Depending on the team, it may either include only certain stakeholders or all of them. Code review is a part of the software development process where the authors of the code, peers, and QA testers review code together. It is a practice where the code is broken into small pieces which are inspected by the code reviewers just before testing. Code reviews are often performed in agile environments.
The main objective of code review services is to identify mistakes, detect bugs early, and ensure that the code follows the standard practices. It is a two-way communication where both the coder as well as the reviewer learns from one another and remove any potential mistakes which can later impact the application. Teams working in an agile set-up may often underestimate the significance of the code reviewing process. Although the process may seem time-consuming, especially when teams are running short on their deadlines. But this is where code reviews are extremely important. The sooner a team reviews the code and eliminate underlying issues or bugs, the sooner they are able to deliver the product as per release deadlines. Identifying bugs later in the release cycle may appear as a surprise and would rather appear to be more expensive and time-consuming. This is why organizations are now incorporating code reviews in their processes right from the initial phases.
Importance of Code Review in a QA Process
Let’s have a look at a few benefits of code reviews that might explain why they are important in the QA process:
Early Bug Identification
Teams can save a lot of time during software testing when bugs are detected at an early stage in the development phase. The overall testing process becomes less expensive and time-consuming. Although automation testing reduces the testing efforts, there is nothing better than humans detecting and resolving mistakes made by others.
Compliance with Standards
In an agile environment, clients often require the following coding standards. Newbie developers are often unaware of the industry-standard coding. Code reviews help in ensuring that the code follows the standards set by the stakeholders.
Code reviews provide a common platform for team members to improve team collaboration. It makes them aware of each other’s strengthens and weaknesses and prevents them from working in silos.
As an organization shift towards agile environments, they require delivering quality work in time. Code reviews help them develop a quality code that is free from defects and is developed by following the standard protocols.
Code Review Practices to Mentor New Staff
Seniors lack time to train or mentor the new staff about the coding practices. Code reviews work as a viable solution allowing junior developers to work with seniors. A proper feedback process allows new developers to add to their coding skills.
Typically, a code review involves one or more developers that examine the source code they didn’t write. They provide feedback to the author of the code, including negative and positive comments. Ideally, reviewers are not a part of the project as this increases their objectivity and ensures the code is readable and maintainable. When organizations look for code review services they expect reviewers to find common mistakes and validate the code against the company’s coding standards. Although code reviews can take place during all stages of development, except for smaller projects that need to be designed and deployed right away. Even during the final stages of development, code reviews reduce the number of regression bugs and ensure that they do not abandon company coding practices. By using best practices for code reviews, the process can mitigate costly QA defects that are found right before the release. Thus, making code reviews an integral part of the QA process.