Peer Code Review: An Agile Process

Gregg Sporar, Smart Bear Software

Peer code review is one of the most effective ways to find defects-but is it agile? Because agile teams loathe heavy process, code review practices can easily fail. However, lightweight peer code review aligns well with the central tenets of agile-keeping feedback close to the point of creation, increasing team velocity by finding defects faster, and improving collective code ownership through frequent collaboration. Gregg Sporar shares recent research on code review practices and describes an agile code review approach-how much time to spend, which code to review, how much code to review at a time, how to set goals, the value of annotation, and more. After comparing four styles of code review-pair programming, over-the-shoulder, email, and tool-assisted-Gregg gives specific advice for creating review checklists and dealing with the social effects of code review in an agile environment.

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