Information Technology Dark Side

Struggles of a Self-Taught Coder

Information Technology Dark Side header image 2

Code Reviews in Scrum

February 17th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Here’s another recent email question:

Hello David,

I am just checking with you to find out what your perspective is on “code reviews” in a Scrum environment? Generally it seems that I see that the discussion on this leans toward paired programming and test driven development to meet this need. But I would be very interested to get your opinion since you have been working in the Scrum environment.

Thank you!

Susan McCoy

Here’s the answer I sent her:

Good question. It’s my opinion that most code reviews are performed too late in a project to do much about serious problems. This seems to be true regardless of PM approach. If you have that problem, you need to fix it or just stop wasting time on code reviews.

I haven’t used a lot of pair programming, but I have done it, particularly with junior people. It seemed to work out well enough, and the two team members who trained each other this way became top-notch coders.

I haven’t really done formal code reviews much at all (except when required to by a process nazi) and don’t value them much. IMO, formal code reviews probably have the least value in agile environments, because the code is changing so quickly and is frequently re-written multiple times (a good thing, I think). I prefer to simply develop a team with one really good coder who also is a great mentor, and several junior people who need mentoring. When structured that way, code reviews tend to happen naturally and early. It’s hard to find a leader like that, but that’s where I would put my focus.

I hope this helps.

Is this the second email in a row where I’ve answered the question without actually answering the question. I hope not.

– Dave

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!
Stumble it!

Tags: Agile

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Compe2001 // Nov 16, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Even in a scrum environment, code reviews help to get attention of experienced developers by one of not so experienced ones. Experienced developers kind of get forced to spend some time (10 minutes or so) to review changes and usually have good feedback. By virtue of their experience plus it is human nature that experienced guy wants to be seen "experienced" and usually finds some improvement in the code.

    Lucky are the teams that get a pair programmer for day to day features. Code reviews are the next best thing.

    Code reviews are also important for maintenance work on production system with big impact on users if they are down because of some bug that could be caught by code reviews. I love code reviews as it is good for us as a team and a company.

  • 2 sozdanie saytov // Aug 6, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Code revievs greatly improves the prospect of any project. Because today is feedback equivalent performance.

Leave a Comment