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What is code review and do I need it?

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At Codacy, one of the questions we get the most is:

“What is code review (and do I need it)?”

With code review, a person or a tool reviews the source code of a developer’s program to check for issues like code coverage, security vulnerabilities, duplicate code and more. So, we’ve applied our experience to devise a test that will help determine whether or not you should include code review in your workflow.

Remember to add up the numbers for each option you select:

How often do you commit?

  • once a day or less (add 0 points)
  • 1–5 times a day (add 1 point)
  • > 5 times a day (add 3 points)
  • I found this amazing feature called auto-commit (add 5 points)

How big are your commits?

  • as few lines as possible (add 0 points)
  • each of my commits is a different component of a feature I’m working on (add 1 point)
  • each of my commits has a distinct feature/functionality (add 3 points)
  • I commit a whole project at a time, and only when I need to restart the machine (add 5 points)

How big is your team?

  • It’s just me, really… (add 0 points)
  • 2 people (add 1 point)
  • > 3 people (add 3 points)
  • I have no idea, the open space seems to go on forever (add 5 points)

How old is your codebase?

  • we barely started (add 0 points)
  • somewhere between 2 months and 2 years (add 1 point)
  • more than 2 years old, but not that old (add 3 points)
  • some of these lines are older than I am (add 5 points)

How old is the company you work for?

  • < 1 year (add 0 points)
  • 1–5 years (add 1 point)
  • 6–30 years (add 3 points)
  • my grandfather used to work here (add 5 points)

What’s your technology stack?

  • just one mainstream programming language (add 0 points)
  • LAMP (add 1 point)
  • modern type-safe language (add 3 points)
  • esoteric languages, noSQL databases, distributed filesystems; if we lose a team member we will never be able to understand the code (add 5 points)

How important is your project?

  • I doubt that anyone will ever notice it (add 0 points)
  • if something fails, we lose money (add 1 point)
  • if something fails, lives may be at stake (add 3 points)
  • this platform is the only thing separating us from an alien invasion! (add 5 points)

Add the points for each of your answers.

And now, for the results. If…

  • …you scored between 0 and 10 points, you should definitely do code review
  • …you scored between 11 and 20 points, you should definitely do code review
  • …you scored between 21 and 30 points, you should definitely do code review
  • …you scored between 31 and 40 points, you should definitely do code review

HTH!

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