How can Code Review help with Quality Assurance?
By Kitakabee, Community Contributor - August 25, 2022
In a software development lifecycle, the development and testing teams carry out a lot of internal processes to ensure the best possible quality of the software. Software development teams widely practice and adopt Code Review benefits.
The process of code review before or after QA is often ignored in the software development process to prefer traditional testing methodologies. But, ignoring the process of code review can have huge repercussions that could take more time and resources to fix at a later stage.
This article helps you understand QA Code Review, why it is necessary, the difference between code review and testing, and how to perform a code review.
What is Code Review?
Code Review is a process where the complete code of a software application is divided into small parts, and then the parts are reviewed by senior developers and managers. The primary goal of Code Reviewing is to track errors and early bugs the ensure that the source code is in its cleanest possible state. This process is a crucial part of the DevOps cycle and is generally conducted before the QA testing.
Why Should You Always Review Code?
Listed below are some of the advantages of the code review
- Early detection of bugs: Reviewing code helps detect bugs early in the app development process. During a software development process, it is also cheaper to fix the issues in the earlier stages. Hence, code review leads to a decrease in the overall cost of the software development process.
- Promotes Agile Development: Agile testing mandates delivering quality services on time. Implementing the code reviewing step will help develop a quality product that is free of critical bugs and follows standard compliances.
- Tutoring Newbies: If a new employee has written the software development code, the senior managers should spend some time reviewing it and providing constructive feedback. In this way, the new employee understands the standards followed by the company.
- Team Building Activity: The code reviewing activity and feedback session are carried out by sharing knowledge and expertise between the senior and junior employees. In this way of sharing constructive feedback, employees can learn about their strengths, points of improvement, etc.
Difference between Code Review and Testing
Code Reviewing is the process of code exemption by leads and managers. This could lead to the detection of bugs, compliance with industry standards, simplifying the code structure, etc. The main aim is to improve the quality of the code and to ensure the proper functioning of the code.
On the other hand, Testing Phase is a considerable part and time-consuming process of software development. Code review involves reviewing several sections of the code to check for structural issues, minor bugs, etc. The testing phase will involve the code being executed multiple times to check if all the features and functionalities are working as intended.
Can Code Review replace testing?
This scenario is not possible at all. Even if you have a stringent code review process in place, you cannot deploy the final product without getting it tested. The reason is:
- Code Review helps in rectifying minor errors and ensuring that the code is clean and free from bugs. Testing is needed to ensure that all features and functionalities are working as intended.
- As the code structure gets more extensive and complicated, it gets harder to detect all the critical bugs just by performing code reviews.
Also Read: Software Testing Strategies and Approaches
The Code Reviewing ensures that:
- The code structure is readable
- Code performance is optimal
- Code is standard compliant
Hence, code review and testing are crucial for an efficient software application development process, and one cannot replace the other.
How can QA participate in Code Review?
The QA code review process comes under the static testing process, which QA generally conducts for the early detection of bugs. Testers have solid observational skills that ensure that the code follows all the essential protocols.
Some of the tips for QA testers to participate in code review are:
- Try to understand what each code section is supposed to do.
- Pair testers with experienced employees in reviewing code for mentorship.
- Encourage the learning process. It is understandable if QA testers cannot make sense of anything in the code at first. They must put in some time and effort to understand the coding language.
Read More: Top 10 Skills of a Proficient QA Manager
Code Review Checklist
A code review checklist can help you conduct the process in a structured manner and ensure that you don’t miss out on anything important. Here is a must-have list for code reviews:
- Identify syntax errors: Code review is a great way to identify simple bugs like misspelled variables, syntax errors, parameters in the wrong sequence, etc.
- Verify functionalities: Code reviewers are supposed to ensure that all the major functionalities of the code are working as expected. If they are not working, they can raise a flag to the development team right away to get it fixed.
- Readability of the code: It is essential to check if the code structure is good and self-explanatory.
- Maintaining Coding Style: Generally, all the application development teams define a coding style in advance. Make sure that you follow the same coding style while reviewing the code.
- Checking for Duplicates: Sometimes, junior developers are not aware of the existence of a particular library or function. Hence, they might go all the way and create a new library. You might want to check the code structure for all these types of duplicates.
- Ensuring Proper Documentation: Ensure each step in the code review process is documented correctly, especially if you have implemented new lines of code or edited existing code.
- Finding scope for improvement: Look for any scope of improvement in the existing code.
Code Review is an essential step in the application development process.
The QA code review process should include automation testing, detailed code review, and internal QA. Automation testing checks for syntax errors, code listing, etc. These tasks save time and effort when carried out by automated methods. The detailed code review process includes identifying bugs, standard compliance violations, readability, etc. And the Internal QA process ensures that the code meets the functional requirements.
Code review helps in knowledge sharing, identifying bugs, maintaining compliance, increasing collaboration, and enhancing security. Therefore development teams should not skip this.