Code Review Task 1 - What are the Goals?

Published: Monday, March 13, 2017

Code reviews are one of the most important tools that can be used to improve quality and productivity for a development team.  One of the keys to completing a review well is to know what the goals of the review actually are. There are two goals I would ask you to set: Team Goals and Individual Review Goals.

Team Goals

First and foremost probably several people on the team will be doing code reviews. This means that they should be aligned on what is the expected outcome of the review. As an agile team I would suggest to establish a goal by:

  • Define the entry criteria to start a begin a review (also known as “definition of ready”) is critical.  Make sure that the entry criteria guidance establishes a standard for even the most simplistic of reviews to the most complex.  This will be the starting point of your code review goal.
  • Set a focus theme for a Sprint or Release.  This is where the team decides a particular emphasis on what the code reviews will be about.  A great example would be to focus on naming constructs in the code or system.
  • Define the exit criteria for a code review.  How do you know that it is completed?  Code reviews leave actions to be completed.  Make sure that they are all addressed as part of the process.

Individual Goals

A person that wishes the code review to be done should also establish a goal for the review. It is critical to write those expectations as part of the documentation / summary of the review.

  • Ask the reviewers to focus on where you struggled or where you are unsure of your code.
  • Your goal may be to get feedback on a certain technology it is your first time using.
  • Make sure that the scope of what success looks like to you is well known.