The articles in this series about being an effective code reviewer have be leading to this final article on imposter syndrome. Sending your code for review or reviewing the code of a colleague can be intimidating and stress inducing. Often you feel as though, I am not qualified to do this?! In particular, when team members haven’t been working together for a long time and a senior developer asks you to review their code…. Who am I to give them advice? I’m not good enough to do this Code Review.

Stop right there, you are good enough!! In fact you…

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Code reviews can often be a source of stress and frustration and they should not be. From my original article that defined code review and their benefits:

#1 rule: This is about sharing knowledge and improving, not to catch someone out or shame them.

Code reviews are one of the key spaces where you can foster an inclusive and collaborative culture in Software development. In general, code reviews should always be about the code and not the developer, so avoid using using you, your, etc. A key to a successful code review is to keep it short and effective. …

Photo by Viktor Hanacek

Type of code reviews

There are several types of code reviews and you may want to adjust your style depending on the type of review you are undertaking:

  • Features
  • Bug fixes
  • Other: script to automate a recurring task, github template, …


Features are more likely to come to you in a series of code reviews. A good practice for the person requesting the review is to include you in the design of the feature (i.e. asking for advice, reviewing, co-authoring a design doc) The level of prior involvement will depend on the size of the feature.

As you are reviewing the feature you should…

image by Manu Cornet under Creative Commons license

The worst case scenario for a peer code review is when each developer thinks the other will look at the code closely. This happens in real life, more often than you would think. How do you go about ensuring this does not occur? A large part is establishing a healthy code review culture, where the roles and expectations of the parties are known.

For the purpose of this article I am going to focus on the role of the person reviewing the code. Here are 4 rules of thumb to start establishing a healthy code review process:

Rule #1: Let…

A code review is a standard practice in the software development life cycle, where one or more people review the source code of another developer. The goal of the review can vary, but it is generally to increase the code quality and provide consistency to a code base.

Photo by Viktor Hanacek

It is something I find many people have the hardest time adapting to when moving into industry and as developers moving through their careers. As an Engineering Manager, this is an area I find there is a very high probability of coaching employees. …

Kendra Curtis

Ex-Googler with 20+ years of Software Engineering Experience, who loves to build things in Software and Real Life.

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