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How I write Review comments

Adam Crockett
I work at ForgeRock as Staff UI Engineer, I play with all sorts really. Lately WASM is my toy of interest.
・1 min read

Feelings are fragile things, they hurt and break easily! Your feelings are a direct path to your ego, and I'm not going to lie and say you don't have an ego, we all do, accept it, you can be hurt by what people say. But the goal of a code review is NOT a slagging match to see who knows the most clever way to do something, it's a means to understand how tho code (at this point is a separate person who we all hate) could be better at doing what ever it is it's meant to do.

So beat up your code, accept the promise that the person tearing up your code, means we'll, the more they tear, the more they mean well, and yes it's mean but it's the code that's getting a beating, not you.

Unless you are the CEO, your code is not "your code" it's company property, so for the betterment of everyone take everything as if it where a complement.

Discussion (2)

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pierrewahlberg profile image
Pierre Vahlberg

We have dribbled a lot with this issue, and developers feeling pinned and feeling especially reviewed. Often this is the result of a somewhat less invested developer who does not care or understand enough to write it as good as other team members. We have had days devoted to discuss how feedback is best presented, and it took us (8 devs) a good 3-4 months before we could go back to public, written reviews in gitlab that was received as constructive for the code/product and not personally attacking comments.

That being said, sitting down, discussing what type of feedback and wording is perceiced as persoanlly attacking and having a dialog where the team can suggest less invasive methods. We for example used personal video meets (2-3 peeps) and then wrote down the review comments together as sort of an "agreement" on the merge request. Doing this process i think helped the devs tp understand all the thought behind a review and not just look at the words and read them as personlly attacking.

Btw I was tech lead and did reviews, and I led this intervention, making sure everyone got heard.

Hope this can help.some teams.out there!

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adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett Author

I have never heard of such an action, it sounds like a fantastic idea though, I am forming a team, this could be an area where problems appear, I will keep this in mind as an action.