Saturday, June 25, 2011

How Not To Provide Feedback When Doing Code Review

Code review, as any other review process, can often be an attack on someone's ego and incite anger and frustration. Being both on sending and receiving end of such code reviews for years, I have learned a few how-not-to-do-it, or as one might say, anti-patterns of providing code review feedback. Let me know if you agree/disagree with me on the following:
  • You are always reviewing Adam's code while Adam is never reviewing yours.
  • Your feedback is like "Adam, you should break down part of this method into a private method" instead of "we can probably extract a part of..."
  • You are always suggesting, for example "we should do x and y and z", instead of asking interesting questions "can we do x? what if we did y?"