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Jess Lee for The DEV Team

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DevDiscuss S2E5: How to Harness Radical Candor in Code Reviews

This week's episode of DevDiscuss covers a topic that often holds a place of anxiety, dread, and debate in tech: code reviews.

play pause DevDiscuss

But instead of just discussing how stressful code reviews can be for all parties (don't get me wrong — venting about the code review process to trusted supporters can be healthy and productive!), we wanted to make this episode a resource for the community so we can ALL conduct better code reviews.

This week, @ben and I were joined by Rina Artstain, Senior Software Engineer at Dropbox where they focus on the company's enterprise solutions. Rina has worked at many different sizes and types of companies, from Intel to an acquired startup and beyond.

Rina authored a great post about Radical Candor in tech where they shared some meaningful reflections on how the process of code reviews has historically made reviewees feel defensive and well... not great.

The best part is that Rina offers some actionable, clear tips for code reviewers and reviewees (in both their post and this episode of DevDiscuss) based on the Radical Candor feedback framework.

In this episode, Ben, @rinaarts, and I discuss

  • Why code reviews often don't yield repeatable results or longterm education for reviewees
  • The Radical Candor feedback framework — what it is and why it should be implemented in code reviews
  • How to bring non-ruinous empathy into the code review process and not be a jerk.

... and much more!

Listen to S2E5 of DevDiscuss: today! If you enjoy it, please consider leaving us a review on the podcast platform of your choice. We’ll mail you a FREE pack of DEV stickers if you send us a screenshot of your review! All you have to do is fill out this form 🦄⚡🎨

Quick Listening Links

Huge thanks to @levisharpe for producing & mixing the show, and @peter and @saronyitbarek for their editorial oversight.

_Thank you to our Season 2 sponsors who help make this show possible. If you're in the market for any of their services, please check out

Top comments (5)

jwp profile image
John Peters

I was a part of a code review once where a person's continual snide remarks made the coder get up and start shouting profanities. The other person ran down the hall screaming "He's going to kill me, Help!".

They fired him that day but I think they missed the antagonist.

alexantra profile image
Alex Antra

LOVE Radical Candor!

Such a good book!

rafi993 profile image
Rafi • Edited

This is really good.

leac profile image
Lea Cohen

Hi, just wanted to point out that in the version here:
the podcast is cut off after 19 minutes...

rafi993 profile image
Rafi • Edited

For people looking for the post ben mentioned here is link to it