In class we did a group activity which had us work together in teams of five and conduct a software technical review. In a software technical review you have a specific role in which you must fulfill specific duties. There are four roles. The producer, review leader, recorder, and reviewers.
Producer– The producer is the person who created the work that is being reviewed.
Review Leader– The review leader schedules the review meetings, prepares materials for meetings, conducts meetings, and writes the review report.
Recorder- The recorder’s job is to take notes of what is being said. They also document anomalies, decisions and recommendations.
Reviewer– The reviewer(s) job is to prepare an individual reviewer issue sheet that is given to the review leader before the meeting. The sheet contains all of the issues that the reviewer found with the code.
There are three different types of software technical reviews. The walk through, technical inspection and an audit.
Walkthrough- A walkthrough is an informal meeting with the producer and the colleagues. There is little preparation and little documentation.
Technical Inspection- A technical inspection is a formal process and includes training. There is sufficient and budgeted preparation time and the team ic very carefully selected.
Audit– An audit is a review that is held by an external group. The purpose of audits are to ensure that you are conforming to standards.
Why would we waste our time with such a complicated process when we could just look for faults individually? Well, there are many good reasons why we hold reviews and why the process is so important.
Reviews push developers to communicate with one another, it gives an opportunity to train new employees, it helps management report progress in the business, you find defects, it builds team morale and it gives the customer reassurance that the product comes out the way it should.
Going into your first review is probably nerve wracking. If you can remember the proper review etiquette, you should be golden!
Be prepared– There is nothing worse than an unprepared team member
Be respectful- it is the golden rule after all. Review the product not the producer.
Avoid discussions of style- Not everyone likes the same thing you do, as long as it is not wrong leave it be.
Provide minor comments to producer at the end of meeting
Be Constructive- help others, don’t bring them down.
Remain focused- identify issues and don’t try to solve them yet.
Participate- Do not try to get the spotlight, it can be annoying.
Be open- the results of the review should be available to the entire organization.
My source of information was our class slides, but you can learn more about software technical reviews here: