[Chandler-dev] Reviewing code you don't know
heikki at osafoundation.org
Thu May 4 11:01:50 PDT 2006
We have some areas of code that are really understood by just one
person. So what can you do if you are asked to review a piece of code in
One thing you should not do is rubber-stamp it on the basis that you
don't understand the changes; there is still a lot of value you can add
by doing a review.
The easy stuff: do "syntactic review". Can you spot any clear typos? Any
obvious performance problems? Style issues?
To go beyond that, you'll probably need to talk to the person whose code
you are reviewing. This does take time, which you may not always have.
There is added benefit to the original author in explaining the code; it
is not unusual for them to spot an error when explaining the code to
others. The reviewer should get a reasonable level of understanding of
the code immediately around the changes to be able to review those lines.
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