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Code Reviewing in Software Engineering

In this article, we are going to study the code reviewing in software engineering that is done in between and after the coding phase of the software engineering paradigm. In this, we will first describe what is meant by code reviewing and then will consider its types one by one?
Submitted by Monika Sharma, on November 10, 2019

Code review is done when a module has been completed by the developer(s) and has been compiled and verified by the developer's end. Code reviewing is a cost-efficient technique to reduce the errors and faults that are or may occur in the software. It is termed as cost-efficient because if the faults are detected in this phase itself, then it would cost much less to resolve them now than to resolve them later at the time of integration and system check. Hence, in producing error-free, efficient and high-quality software, code reviewing plays a vital role.

There are two methods by which a code module is reviewed. These two methods can also be called the types of code review techniques. The two techniques namely are,

  1. Code walk through
  2. Code inspection

1) Code walk through

As the name suggests, the reviewing of the code module in this method is done in a lenient manner, same as just walking through the school campus by the principal on normal days.

What is done in this method is: a team of specific members (can be from the developer’s team also) is prepared and the code is provided to them few days before the code walk through meeting. In this period, the team members go through the code, try to understand the meaning of each code. This process is usually done without running the code and just by going through it manually. Each member notes down his/her observations and findings and then a brief discussion on the same is done on the meeting day where the whole developer team or some of their members are present.

2) Code inspection

You can relate code inspection with the behavior of your school principal on inspection days rather than the usual school days. What here is meant to say is that in the code inspection, the whole code reviewing is performed strictly to identify and detect all the errors a faults present in the code module. Here, in spite of manual observations and reviewing of code, the code is executed for different inputs. Various inputs from all ranges of data are provided to the module and its behavior is noted. The main aim of code inspection is to identify the common mistakes (if any) that the code is repeatedly making while execution. Also, the code is checked for input that is beyond its range to handle and again its behavior is noted.

By performing this type of code reviewing, the organization becomes sure about the performance and quality of the software and also the difficulties that may occur in the future while integrating the modules get reduced by some extent in this process.






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