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Discussion on: Crafting Better Code Reviews

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i4nstigator profile image
ianstigator

The article failed to mention the one glaring reason why code reviews fail, i.e. CODING STANDARDS. Don't even start a code review process if your team does not refer to a central coding standard. Agree to a coding standard in terms of coding style and good/bad practices and make that as the bible when doing code reviews. This will weed out any biased opinions and your team will move fluidly.

Another thing, bugs don't care about your feelings. Sorry but that's the truth. Code reviews are there to improve code quality (less bugs) and definitely not to hurt your feelings. So put those feelings in a box. Code reviews should not be emotional. It's just code, man.

Your team will know if you're a newbie programmer but most people would not care. We are all just humans. People will be more concerned on how well you're learning and whether you're not making the same mistakes over and over again. This is so that you can be a valuable member of the team. So you can either fight the process or just accept the criticisms (good/bad) and just see all this as a learning opportunity.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

This was not a constructive approach to responding to this post in accordance our code of conduct.

Code reviews should not be emotional. It's just code, man.

This tone is unprofessional and language not inclusive. It's perfectly fine to disagree, but do so with respect. Think of this as a warning, but if it is not a workable for you, there are plenty of online communities without a code of conduct.

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isaacdlyman profile image
Isaac Lyman

Another thing, bugs don't care about your feelings. Sorry but that's the truth. Code reviews are there to improve code quality (less bugs) and definitely not to hurt your feelings. So put those feelings in a box. Code reviews should not be emotional. It's just code, man. ...So you can either fight the process or just accept the criticisms (good/bad) and just see all this as a learning opportunity.

That's not how teams work. Someone's "feelings" are never "in a box." Sure, I've heard (colloquially) of people who are offended by any form of feedback, and that's dysfunctional on their part. But almost everyone is willing to accept feedback if it's delivered respectfully, and will respond with avoidance or aggression if it's not. So considering people's feelings in code review makes it a more effective and positive process for everyone. In fact, it's a professional requirement. You can't stop being kind and respectful to a person just because their bug doesn't care.

Bugs may not care about your feelings, but bugs are almost never the biggest problem on a software team. And "It's just code" is a short-sighted description of software development; it's almost entirely about human beings and the way they think and interact. The code itself is a triviality.

Reading through your comment again, I think you may have said some things you didn't really mean. I hope I haven't misjudged you and I'd be happy to discuss this further if you'd like to clarify.

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vaidehijoshi profile image
Vaidehi Joshi Author

Hey there,

Did you get a chance to read the entire article? It does, in fact, highlight the fact that syntactic discussions that devolve into back and forth in comments can be resolved by adopting a coding standard on your team. Using a linter, for example, is a simple way to make sure that the whole team agrees on a bonding style.

If you read the anonymous responses from the survey—which are not written by me, but rather were contributed by developers around the world—you'll see that the "process" that you encourage people not to fight is clearly broken. Code reviews aren't always effective on a team, so it's up to us to evaluate what's not working about them and try to fix it. This article is an attempt to do that.

The thesis of this article isn't that bugs care about your feelings. Rather, the crux of the issue is that humans write code, and humans are more productive when they are seen and heard on a team. The attitude of "put your feelings in a box, bugs don't care about your feelings" is pretty dismissive to a huge subset of the engineering community and doesn't foster any conversation or change.