Jeff Sutherland, the co-inventor of Scrum, thinks “code reviews are critical to be competitive in the global market.” If such a recognized thought leader practicing the most popular Agile method thinks code reviews are critical, why do so many developers view peer review as a time sink?
Since the Agile end goal is to deliver valuable software fast with the least number of defects, why wouldn’t you want to embrace any strategy that identifies defects earlier in development?
3 Reasons Why Peer Code Review is Critical for Agile Success
1) Peer review identifies issues early: Thanks to the horrid review meetings that torture developers and ruin their day, many developers still consider peer reviews to be a time-consuming misstep that distracts from their goal of delivering valuable code fast. The truth is that frequent review of code and development artifacts allow teams to identify issues at their inception, before they are introduced to the broader team or integrated into the codebase.
2) Peer review saves valuable time: Are you a believer that time expended in review is time diverted from writing code and meeting sprints? While this is technically true, peer code review actually saves time on the backend by eliminating unplanned interruptions from QA, frustrating rework, and technical debt. And even better, tool-assisted peer review eliminates meetings, speeds up review cycles, and allows developers to review code and documents at their convenience.
3) Consistent reviews keep the focus on code quality: A lot of developers also fear that results of reviews will be held against them by management. If managers do that, they don’t understand that reviews are about improving overall product quality, not about harassing developers.
Still don’t think that peer review is Agile?
In the video excerpt below you can hear Jeff Sutherland explain why code review is critical. He shares how one venture company, OpenView Ventures, actually mandates it within their portfolio companies, because they have proven that reviews actually accelerate iterations!
“So from the point of view of our investments, at the board level having a good implementation of Scrum is critical. And inside that Scrum, having continuous integration, automated testing, and good code reviews is critical to be competitive in the global market. So we never implement Scrum without those things.”
Watch the entire On-demand webinar to learn what other advice Jeff Sutherland has on how to stay Agile and improve quality.
How are you integrating code reviews into Scrum? Please share your thoughts and comments below!