Influence of Code Review on QA
Being in the software industry you may have often heard the term code review. Still, the idea of code review is often misinterpreted. Often it is overlooked in the software development life cycle as people feel conducting testing should satisfy the validation process. And so, they serve to turn a blind eye towards the code reviewing process. Still, overlooking the code reviewing process could bounce back with significant consequences to deal with. We also have a misunderstanding that the code reviewing process is the duty of the development team alone. It is not! Code reviewing is a method that should include not only developers but QAs and product managers too.
What Is Code Review And Its Objective?
Code reviewing is a system where the source code is divided into small pieces, which are examined by the administrators or seniors in the team to be carried out just before testing. It is a process mostly observed in Agile methodology.
The main objective of code review is to discover mistakes, catch early bugs and assure that the code follows the usual practices. It can be termed as a two-way communication where both the coder as well as the person who examines the code learns from one another and eliminate any potential mistakes which may later affect the product.
The sooner you review the code and eliminate any blocker or bug possibility for later, the sooner you are capable to present the product as per the release process. Detecting bugs later in the release cycle or post-migration into production would rather turn out to be more costly and time-consuming. This is why companies are now following a modern methodology of Shift-Left Testing where you include testing right from the client’s requirement gathering phase.
Why Code Reviewing Is Inevitable?
If you believe code reviewing isn’t needed as long as you are testing then the below-mentioned advantages may swing your mind towards thinking differently.
- Early Bug Detection: When bugs are discovered at a very early stage in the development phase, it decreases a lot of time during the testing phase. The overall process becomes a lot reasonable. Although nowadays, automation testing reduces the testing effort and time consumed, still, there is no greater gift than the human nature of discovering and correcting mistakes committed by others.
- Mentoring Juniors: When a fresher links a project, seniors may not have much time to mentor or manage the junior about the coding practices or instruct them about how they do their job. The ideal answer in that situation for a senior developer is to spend at least 20-30 minutes analyzing the code written by the junior. Regular feedback will enable the fresher to develop his/her skill in coding.
- Age of Agile: Nowadays most companies follow Agile methodology and requirements to achieve quality work in time. A code review will allow the organization to receive a quality prototype, free from mistakes and developed following the standard protocols.
- Compliance to Standards: In the Agile age, the client often needs us to abide by a certain coding criterion. However, fresher developers are not often informed of industry-standard coding. Frequent reviews help to assure that the code abides by the rules and criteria that have been established by the stakeholders.
Can Code Reviewing And Testing Replace One Another?
For starters, Code reviewing and testing, are the best methods to be involved in a software development life cycle. However, both are different in their own ways and must not be mixed. It would be wrong to think that you don’t require code reviewing because you have tested in your SDLC or vice-versa.
Code review includes inspecting the code which may or may not involve checking for bugs. It involves reviewing whether the style of code is below compliance with all policies, whether there is any violation of security, and most importantly, whether the code can be understood easily or not. The purpose is to check whether the code is easy, serves all policies and standards, and most importantly, serves its objective.
Testing, on the other hand, has various categories. The main purpose of testing is not to check the code, but to examine whether the application works correctly or not. Testing includes detecting whether there are any bugs in various layers of the application, whether the application meets all the requirements of the stakeholders, and assuring that the issues detected are related to the concerned team.
Hypothetically, code review can substitute testing. In the case of a very small application, if more than various reviewers carefully go through the code, they may recognize the sections that may raise a mistake when unit testing is carried out. Only hypothetically, not realistically.
However, code review can only substitute testing when the application is very small and consists perhaps, only a hundred lines of code. In the matter of a large application, the scope gets larger and no matter how many reviewers work collectively in inspecting the code, the application may cause damage when the codes are integrated. That is where testing comes into play.
How To Participate In Code Review As QA?
Code review is supposed to be a part of static testing, an activity to be carried mostly by quality analysts to decide out whether any bug can be detected earlier before the testing phase starts. If the testing team actively engages in code review, it saves a lot of time.
You may wonder how to begun with code review when you are into testing and do not have any knowledge of development. But the fact is, code reviewing only needs your observational skills, not your coding knowledge. For starters, you may begin with automation scripts. Strive to look for minor bugs that may appear in an incorrect testing sequence. Parallelly whenever you have time, go through the repository of your application and strive to learn what the developers did there.
Also, if someone from your team has been examining codes, discuss or sit with them and try to get an understanding of how they are performing the job. Check whether they are looking at
- Log messages which are simply understandable
- Syntax errors
- Errors made by spelling mistakes
- Naming conventions
Initially when testers get the chance for code reviewing, pairing with someone who is experienced makes the job a lot easier. Although the numerous lines of code initially do not make any sense, keeping up with it allows the quality analyst to notice a pattern and slowly they get accustomed to the codebase, and eventually, a time comes when just by looking at a particular section of the application they can simply state what business logic is performed in that section.
Finally, remember one thing. Begin with small changes and learn more about them and wherever you feel about any error, comment it and require the coder to clear your doubt. And if you are managing the complete project, make sure to incorporate code reviewing and testing as compulsory phases to carry out during any software development life cycle. This will assure that a quality product is delivered and your organization’s reputation is preserved.
We hope you now realize the importance of code reviewing in the SDLC, along with its distinction from testing. TestUnity experts can help you include the code reviewing process in your release cycle. Connect with our experts to assure that the bug has been caught and fixed and maintain your product quality.