This week is another blog post on code review. Unlike the other article which gives suggestions, this article is an overview of code review. So, what is code review? This article defines it as a systematic examination of programming language source codes. It main intent is to find and fix mistakes overlooked in initial development phase. This helps to improves the quality of the software and also helps give critiques on the developer’s skills, which is always an advantage to improving their skills.
Why are code reviews important? We start with some statistics. The article lists that the average rate for detecting defect is 25%, the rate found through functional testing is 35%, and that found through integration testing is 45%. In contrast, the rate of defect detection through code review is 55% to 60%, indicating that code review is one of the most important aspects of code review. The article further goes on to list some important statistics on code review that I thought were extremely interesting. Before code review were introduced into the organization, it is estimated that about 55% of one-line maintenance changes were in error. After its introduction it decreased to 2%. After code reviews were introduced it was estimated that 95% were correct the first time whereas before under 20% were correct the first time. In an experiment, a group of 11 programs were developed by the same group of people. The group were split into 2 groups. The first 5 developed without code reviews. The remaining 6 developed with code reviews. After its release into production, the first 5 had an average of 4.5 errors per 100 lines of code. The other team had an average of .82 errors per 100 lines of code. Reviews were found to cut the errors by over 80%, which demonstrates the importance of code reviews. For this study however, I wonder if for both teams the individuals had equal experiences and skills. Were both sides equally weighted? An interesting statistics is the IBM Orbit project. IBM’s 500,000 line Orbit project used 11 levels of inspections and had only about 1% of errors.
Finally, we close off this blog post with a discussion on the main goals of code review. The article lists the main intent to spot and fix defects early in the development process. The second goal is to share ideas with other team members, so that everyone can share from one another. Sharing ideas then helps to maintain a level of consistency in the design and implementation. Finally, code reviews helps to build confidence in the stakeholder about the technical quality of execution. Code review overall, helps to create more confidence and reliability in the product, since as a team it is easier to catch bugs.
Overall, I choose this article because I strongly believe a good code review is always difficult to conduct. It takes practice to be efficient. This article emphasizes the importance of code review in software engineering, but still it takes time to develop the essential skills to be effective in code reviews. That is why I chose this article this week to emphasize the importance of code reviews and to learn about its main intents and advantages in software engineering.