code review process

Code review is one of the pivotal elements in the software development life cycle because it enables the developers to examine the quality of source code. Think of the code review process as the case when the writer drafts the story and the editor reviews it for any changes to make it crispier and more engaging.   

In this article, we will dive deeper to make you understand about what exactly code review is, why it is important and how to make your software impactful through it.  

Table of Contents

What is a Code review?  

Code review is the process where fellow developers or Tech lead evaluates the code to confirm that it follows the software engineering process and best practices laid down by Industry or Company Experts. Developers analyze whether the code follows specific code formatting guidelines and the code meets functional or non-functional requirements or not. 

When doing a code review, the prime motto of developers is to check whether the code is consistent, meets specific coding standards, or is suitable for the next development phase. 

Code review is also known as a peer code review, where fellow developers or programmers review each others codes so that there will be streamlined software development.   

As developers create software or applications, errors are likely to occur due to oversight or a lack of experience in that technology stack, or a missing boundary condition or scenario while attempting to solve a complex problem through coding. In that case, peer-to-peer code reviews outperform best.  

Code reviews are useful for identifying functional like Missed scenarios, Missed use cases, and Non-functional flaws like memory leaks, buffer overflow, and runtime exceptions in source code. 

Hence, developers conduct a code review process to ensure that the software or application developed should be of high quality.   

In a nutshell, code review is all about when fellow developers evaluate your code and comment on the changes required in the code. Then the whole development team starts their discussion to accomplish the objective of making the code clean while ensuring that it is meeting coding standards.   

Let’s throw light on statistics –  

According to the 2019 state of code review, “around 53 percent of software developers get their codes reviewed daily. Software development teams believe that frequent code reviews can improve code quality.   

Smart bear says, “Developers are 3.5X more satisfied when the code review process is conducted.   

Don’t consider the code review process as one-sided feedback. You might have heard this phrase- Don’t let the bugs and coding errors spoil your project. So, why not perform a code review?  

There are 2 types of code review –  

1. Functional code review   

In functional code review, the developers review the quality of source code by checking whether the syntax of the code is good or not and whether the code follows basic code formatting practices.   

Functional code reviews are related to the functionality of the software or an application, so if the developer overlooks these code issues, then it might affect the application.   

2. Non-functional code review   

Here, the developers analyze the non-functional requirements while reviewing the code, such as whether the code is secured or not, whether the code is scalable or not, whether the code is reusable or not, and whether it is easy to maintain.   

Therefore, the developer tries to ensure that the code is secured, easy to maintain, and offers robust performance, and follows best practices laid down in Software Engineering.  

Why do you need to perform a code review?  

Code reviews have become an important part in the software development lifecycle. To improve the quality of code, it is necessary to perform code reviews. According to a global Dev sec ops survey, 76% of developers are satisfied that code reviews are valuable.   

In today’s era, software is eating the world, and any bugs or issues in the code could threaten your software or application. Therefore, code reviews make it possible to do faster development of software/apps.   

Developers should perform a code review as it offers the following advantages-  

1. Ensures consistency in design   

Collaboration among dedicated development teams becomes challenging when developers use different coding styles. But when developers perform code reviews, they can follow specific coding practices.   

Conducting a code review acts as a lifesaver technique for future developers because they can easily analyze existing lines of code whenever they want to add new features to an application or software.   

2. Provides high performance   

Even experienced dedicated developers commit the mistake by overlooking errors in programming. Hence, it becomes important for programmers to get a code review to ensure that the code is highly optimized, providing excellent performance to the users.   

When the reviewer reviews the code, you can ensure that the entire development process will go smoothly.   

3. Improves overall quality of code   

When it comes to reviewing the quality of code, code reviewers are responsible for not only doing the implementation of code but also analyzing whether the code is readable or not, checking the code architecture (whether the code is badly designed or not), and is there a duplication of code or not.   

4. Ensures standardized code   

Code review is more about reviewing your code from fellow developers. When doing code reviews, developers follow a specific style guide.   

If you are writing code without following standardized rules, it becomes challenging for other developers to read your code.   

5. Q/A testing becomes easier   

When there is a peer-to-peer code review, it becomes easy for testers to understand the source code. Testers are not only accountable for analyzing the quality of code, but they also have to identify issues that could lead to delays in the development process.  Hence, code review can do the wonders for you.  

Process of code review   

Many organizations neglect the importance of doing code reviews, which could lead to potential effects in the future. For Instance – Meetings are taking more time than what was expected.     

If your organization does not have specific coding guidelines, it’s high time for you to initiate the code review process.   

1. Setting early expectations   

The first step involved in code review is when a developer adds comments about the source code. Here, developers review their codes through the authors before submitting them to the entire team for review.        

2. Set the quantifiable goals   

If you want to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of code, then you should set quantifiable targets. Having defined goals helps the developers to become individually accountable.   

For example – If you are setting a goal to fix more bugs, it would be generic. Instead, there should be a number attached to it. In that case, the code review process becomes less time-consuming for the reviewer.   

3. Set the time limit to review the code of not more than 60 seconds   

Research studies show that shorter & more frequent code review increases the quality of work. It means when frequent reviews are conducted regularly; then developers need not worry about spending a major chunk of time on getting their code reviewed.   

4. Conduct peer-review documents   

Here, the entire development team does the peer-to-peer code review on development, such as analyzing the requirements, design documents, and user stories to ensure that the entire development team is working towards the end goals of the project  

5. Take 20 minutes break in between reviewing the code   

If you want to improve the quality of the code, you should review the code with fresh eyes. The developer can conduct in-between review sessions where 300-500 lines of code are reviewed per hour by taking a short break of 20 minutes each. 

Ideally speaking in Bigoh, we try to do code review in the first half of the day as its always better to eat the frog in the first half rather than rushing this in the end of the day. Book our code review service 

6. Do a certain amount of code reviews every day   

When developers know that their code will be reviewed daily, they will become watchdogs by doing a regular code review so that there will not be any delay in the development processes.   

7. Use a code review tool   

The development team can use various code review tools to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of code. Code review tools can be integrated into development workflows, helping the developers work together and thereby maintain the quality of code.   

There are various code review tools that increases the productivity of developers through an automated code review. Some of these tools include Github, sonarqube , GitLab etc.  

For Instance – Github has its inbuilt code review tool which allows the programmers to submit the pull request for getting code reviewed.  

Another code review tool is Sonarqube makes the code clean by detecting issues in the code and accelerates the development of project.  

8. Use the code review checklist   

Creating a code review checklist is a structured approach that helps the reviewer and author check what things are missing in the code. Also, the code review checklist enables the developers to do quality checks so that the code can be approved on the codebase.  

Here are some things that must be included in the code review checklist –  

  • Verification of feature requirements   
  • Whether the code is well formatted or not   
  • Whether the code is readable or not   
  • Define coding style guide   
  • Check for code duplication  
  • Whether the code requires extra documentation or not   

How to make your software more impactful through a code review?  

1. Code formatting   

Here, the reviewer needs to check whether the code is properly formatted or not. Here are some practices that can be adopted to ensure that your code has good readability.   

  • Using alignments at the left and maintain a proper white space   
  • Your code should confine to appropriate naming conventions   
  • Code should be written keeping in mind 14-inch screen   

2. Code architecture   

The code should follow specific architecture. The code should either be in sync with existing tools and technologies. Your code should be split into different layers and it should match with existing project requirements   

Having a proper code architecture is important to ensure that your code looks clean and it is not cluttered. Code architecture is important because of following reasons – 

  • It becomes easy to maintain the software  
  • Developers can find bugs quickly  
  • It enables the programmers to perform quick testing  
  • It simplifies the development of product 
  • It offers robust performance to the end users   

Here are some popular architectures that are used for developing high performing applications such as MVC, MVVM etc. 


MVC stands for modular view controller architecture. MVC architectural model is used for MVC architectural model is divided into 3 parts – 

  • Model – Model comprises data of the application and it is related to functionality of the product  
  • View – View is responsible for displaying information to the users  
  • Controller – Controller acts as an interface of doing communication between model an view  


MVVM stands for Model view model.  

  • Model – Model is required to hold the data of an app  
  • View – It indicates the UI components (user interface) of an app and is responsible for displaying data  
  • View model – View model do the logical work as their main objective is to represent the data.  

Thus, because it is indicated in developer notes and guidelines, every technology suggests a particular usage of code.  

3. Design patterns   

The reviewer must check whether the new codebase matches the existing design patterns or not. Developers should follow design patterns because developers are not only writing the code for machines but also for humans.   

When the developer uses a design pattern, it speeds up the development of a project and, at the same time, enables other programmers to reuse the code.   

4. Maintainability   

The code is of good quality when code has 4 important factors –  

a. Readability   

The code should not be difficult for the developer. It should flow like a never-ending story. The code has to be refactored if the coder finds it difficult to understand. Thus, it is important to select proper names for variables and functions.   

b. Testability  

Code should be easy to test and confine to the specified coding practices.   

c. Reusability   

The coder should not follow the DRY principle (Do not repeat yourself). The code should not be repeated twice. Instead, some of its components can be reused later.  

d. Scalability   

Here, the code reviewer reviews whether the codebase supports large number of users or not. Suppose your product appears in the feed, and 100 customers buy it on one go. In that case, your code should be scalable enough that a large customer base can support it.   

5. Object-oriented analysis and design principles   

The coder needs to follow SOLID principles to make sure that the code is highly efficient –  

a. Single responsibility principle   

This principle implies that the class should have one and only one reason to change. The code should be relevant to one class   

b. Open-closed principle   

The code should be open for extensions but it should not be allowed for further modifications. In a nutshell, the code should not be changed again and again.  

c. Liskov substitution principle   

The objects of the parent class can be replaceable with sub-class objects.   

d. Interface segregation principle   

The client should never be forced to rely on interfaces that he/she does not use. It is recommended to create different interfaces so that code can be run easily   

e. Dependency Injection method  

Wrapping up   

If you want to build a high-performing application, then consider doing code review. By reviewing your code, you are not only saving the precious dollars of your clients but at the same time, making your employees happy.   


Q1. What are code review tools?  

The sole objective of code review is to improve the quality of code. Reviewer uses code review tools to automate the process of reviewing code. Various code review tools are widely available such as GitHub, GitLab, Rhodecode, Gerrit, bitbucket, etc   Most popular code review tool

Q2. What is an automated code review?

Automated code review is preferred to create a high-quality and secure application that is free from any vulnerabilities. Under automated code review, the source code is compared with the standard guidelines.

Q3. What is the code review process?

Here are the steps involved in the code review process –  

1. Setting early expectations  
2. Set quantifiable goals   
3. Set the time limit to review the code (not more than 60 seconds)  
4. Conduct peer-review documents  
5. Take 20 minutes break while reviewing the code   
6. Conduct the code review every day   
7. Use the code review tool   
8. Use a code review checklist   

Q4. What is a code review checklist?

The code review checklist provides a structured approach to the reviewer to ensure whether the code is working properly. The reviewer needs a code review checklist to check the following things –  

1. Is the code understandable?  
2. Whether the code is following basic coding standards or not   
3. Is there a duplication in the code?  
4. Is it possible to debug the code?  

Q5. How does the code review fit into agile development?

Every team member involved in agile development can learn from code mistakes. Hence, reviewing code in agile development fosters knowledge sharing across team members.  

Q6. How does Automatic code review fit into DevOps and integration?

Ci/CD is one of the most crucial devops practices those aids businesses in producing scalable and high-quality products. A continuous integration/delivery has 5 stages such as “build/develop, commit, test, stage, and deploy. One of the most important step of the “build/develop” stage is to do code review via automatic code review and linting tool such as SonarQube.

Q7. How does the code review be planned using in version control systems like git and Project methodologies I.e. Scrum?

A good code is crucial for the success of the product and the business 

Each developer should use the proper branching strategy, create a branch for each JIRA ID, and then submit a PR for review. Once code has been reviewed and passed basic quality metrics, code is further merged by a Senior team member  

Sprint should always include timelines for Code review rather than fixing review points later on, as this may cause bugs once a developer addresses the review points.

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