You may have used the word code review frequently when you are in the software industry. The notion of code checking, however, is sometimes misunderstood. It is also ignored in the lifecycle of software development because people believe that the validation process should be adequate to conduct testing. And so, they appear to turn a blind eye towards the method of code checking.
Nevertheless, neglecting the process of code reviewing might bounce back with serious implications. We still have a misunderstanding that the process of code review is the responsibility of the production team alone. That isn’t it! The analysis of code is a process that should include not only developers but also QAs and product managers. This article is my attempt to help you understand the meaning of code review and how you can be interested in it as a QA.
We will now also look at code review best practices and checklist code review for automation testing using Selenium WebDriver.
What are code reviews and the purpose of code review?
Reviewing the code is a practice where the source code is split into small bits that are reviewed just before testing by the managers or seniors in the team. In Agile methodology, it is a technique often practiced.
The main goal of the code review is to find errors, spot early bugs, and ensure that the best standards are followed by the code. It can be referred to as a two-way conversation in which both the coder and the person checking the code learn from each other and delete any possible errors that can affect the product later.
Working in an agile environment, you can sometimes overlook the value of the process of code review. You may think that code review best practices would be time-consuming, particularly if you run short on deadlines. This is where it becomes all the more significant, though. The sooner you check the code and remove any likelihood of blockers or bugs later, the sooner you can produce the software as per the release phase.
It turns out to be more costly and time-consuming to identify vulnerabilities later in the release cycle or post-migration into development. This is why companies are now adopting a new Shift-Left research approach where you integrate testing right from the selection process of the client’s requirements.
Why reviewing code is inevitable?
If you think code review tools are not needed as long as you’re testing, then the advantages described below can influence you to think differently.
1. Early bug detection:
It saves a lot of time during the testing process when errors are found at a very early point in the development phase. The overall method is becoming much less costly. Automation testing decreases the effort and time expended on testing; there is also no greater gift than the human nature of recognizing and correcting other people’s errors.
2. Mentoring juniors:
Seniors can not have much time when a junior starts a project to tutor or instruct the junior about the coding practices or educate them on how to do their job. The perfect solution for a senior developer in that situation is to spend at least 20-30 minutes checking the code written by the junior. Daily feedback will allow the new developer to improve his coding skills.
3. The era of Agile:
Most companies today adopt Agile methods and expect quality work to be delivered in time. The analysis of the code will enable the organization to produce a quality prototype that is free of defects and designed in compliance with standard protocols.
4. Team Cohesion:
Regular discussion of the analysis brings the team together, makes them aware of the strength and weaknesses of each other, and prevents them from getting lost in an isolated environment.
5. Compliance with standards:
The client also needs us to comply with a certain coding standard in the agile era. Fresher developers, however, are not always conscious of industry-standard coding. Regular reviews help make sure that the code complies with the rules and norms set by the stakeholders.
Code Reviewing vs. Testing
Code checking and testing are also best practices to be used in a software development lifecycle. In their ways, though, both are distinct and must not be mistaken. It would be wrong to assume that because you’ve checked your Software development life cycle or vice versa, you don’t need code review best practices.
The analysis of the code includes the evaluation of the code that may or may not require bug testing. It includes testing whether all policies comply with the code style, whether there is a security violation, and most importantly, whether the code can be easily interpreted or not.
The objective is to check if the code is clear, meets all policies and standards, and serves its purpose, most importantly.
Research has multiple definitions, on the other hand. The primary purpose of testing is not to verify the code, but to check whether or not the program is running perfectly. Testing includes identifying whether there are any defects in various layers of the application, whether the application meets all stakeholder criteria, and ensuring that the detected problems are communicated to the team concerned.
Code review best practices, however, will only replace testing if the program is very small and consists of perhaps, only a hundred codes. The variety gets wider in the case of a large application, and no matter how many testers work together to inspect the code, when the codes are combined, the application will cause breakage. That is where it comes into play with checking.
Testing will, however, never, either hypothetically or theoretically, replace code review. While testing can identify all the bugs and get the developers to fix them, let’s discuss a scenario that will make it clear why code review cannot be replaced.
If you are a product manager then you need to implement the code reviewing phase in your release cycle, in case it already isn’t. In case it is implemented, you need to organize the bandwidth and resources effectively and make sure that the participation is involved from both developers as well as testers. You need to adjust your perspective and jump right in if you are a QA who has been scared to venture into code reviewing.