Code Review: What-Why-Who-When-How


Code Review is an activity in which people other than the author of a code examine it for:

  • Identify Defects
  • Discover for Improvement opportunities

Objective of code review in a team leads creating and maintaining a consistent, structured and standardized code base. Nothing more, nothing less


The benefits or the goals of code review are the following:

  • Finding bugs as early as possible, so they are economical to fix.
  • Coding standards conformity, Code review helps to maintain consistent coding style across the project/company.
  • Knowledge sharing, during review team members gain better understanding of the source code.
  • Consistent design, review helps to maintain a level of consistency in software design.
  • Software security, applications that require a high level of security can be targeted for security reviews.
  • Team Building. Review discussions save team members from isolation and help them to know each other and bring them closer.


Role Responsibility
  1. Write code for code review 
  2. Takes Responsibility for initiating/following up for code review 
  3. Inform reviewer that product is ready for review 
  4. Apply changes recommended by reviewer 
  5. Track the invested time for review and changes
Project Manager
  1. Planning and managing code review process 
  2. Identify reviewer 
  3. Schedule code review activity 
  4. Ensure review occurred as planned 
  5. Arrange/provide training if required
  1. Prepare review check list 
  2. Perform code review 
  3. Document all identified issue 
  4. Share findings with Author


Pre-commit/Check-In review is a form of code review where code is reviewed before going into codebase. Code is shared to Reviewer and reviewer review it and share their comments directly to developer. Once all comments are implemented the code is committed to the repository.

Post-commit/Check-In review is where the code is reviewed after going into codebase. The code is committed to the repository and reviewer takes the code in repository and share his/her comment on this to the developer. Fixes are made and again committed in the code base.

The advantage of pre-commit review over post-commit review is that mistakes are caught early and pose less cost. As a consequence development takes more time.



  • Based on pre-prepared review check list
  • Code Walkthrough
  • Conducted manually
  • Risk of human error


  • Fast as compare to manual with a predefined set of rules or best practices.
  • Based on report generated by tool action items are identified.
  • Popular tools FXCop and NDepend

Techniques Comparison

Criteria Manual Automated
Review Time Comparatively High Comparatively Low
Initial Setup Time Minimal Require setup time for initial configuration
Technology Dependence Independent Dependent
Price Involved Only human resource cost Incorporates tool cost

Focus Areas

  • Review fewer than 200–400 lines of code at a time
  • Aim for an inspection rate of fewer than 300–500 LOC per hour
  • Never review code for more than 90 minutes at a stretch
  • Establish quantifiable goals for code review, and capture metrics so you can improve your processes
  • Use checklists, because they substantially improve results for both authors and reviewers
  • Verify that the defects are actually fixed
  • Establish quantifiable goals for code review and capture metrics so you can improve your processes


I'd like to end my thoughts on the code review process with the following:

  • For the reviewer: Focus on the code, not the developer!
  • For the developer: Don’t take it as critic of your coding skills, but an exercise to improve the code in the code base.

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