It’s often taken as read that developers think code reviews are just a pain in the behind. Maybe that sentiment is true when a developer’s sitting amongst his/her peers and getting interrogated on the quality of their code, but some of the data from a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Klocwork seems to contradict that a bit. The survey asked software development professionals a whole bunch of questions related to code reviews (some of which we’ve referenced before) and here are two interesting data points that suggest developers see real benefits from code reviews.
So 79% of respondents indicate that, yes, code reviews have been effective at reducing the number of bugs found later in the development cycle. Furthermore, 43% state that code reviews have caused a fundamentally positive shift in their project’s direction. Cool.
Of course, in other parts of the survey, respondents complain about aspects of code review, in particular how time consuming and difficult they can be to implement consistently. Nonetheless, the data indicates that when organizations put their heads down and make them part of their development process, real benefits will be realized. So, the challenge is making them part of the process – of course we advocate a tools-based approach, making them more lightweight, and combining automation into your software verification strategy so that manual reviews aren’t the only technique being used to find implementation errors.
This data line-up with what you’re seeing within your organization?