Peer Code Review

Recently I have found advertisements from Smart Bear Software offering a free book. The book title is The Best Kept Secrets of Peer Code Review. At first I worried that there was some catch. Usually nothing is free. But I decided to bite and request the book. I read it from cover to cover. There were some gems in there for software development and maintenance.

Bugs make you lose market share if you sell the software. Code review can provide a competitive advantage. The problem is that developer time is expensive. The cost of reviews to programmers seems to outweigh the benefits to them. Peer review tools can lower the effective cost.

If you spend more time reviewing code, you will find more defects. However more code does not necessarily translate to more problems found. In fact, the optimal code review is for chunks of code which are less than 200 lines of code. There is also a drop in productivity after about an hour of code review.There really isn’t a lot out there about code peer review. That’s where the catch from Smart Bear Software comes in. They produce a tool called Code Collaborator which helps automates review. I know Google has similar software that is open source (free). This sounds a lot better than the manual peer review methods we use on my project.