Code Review - Best PracticesΒΆ

The following is a list of best practices for reviewing code gathered from various sources:

  • Implement a Core Review standard, because the yield of the Code Review phase is 50 to 80% better than that of the Test phase.
  • Review between 100 and 300 lines of code at a time and spend 30-60 minutes doing it for best results.
  • Avoid code review meetings, because meetings contributed only 4% of the defects found in the code inspections.
  • Slow down to a comfortable pace, as reviewers slower than 400 lines per hour are above average in their ability to uncover defects. But when faster than 450 lines/hour the defect density is below average in 87% of the cases.
  • Take a time-out, because defects are found at relatively constant rates through the first 60 minutes of inspection. At that point the checklist-style review levels off sharply; the other review styles level off slightly later. In no case is a defect discovered after 90 minutes.