Code reviews and evaluation
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After adding features it is useful to find the time to take some time to evaluate your implementation. Within your implementation this week the focus is on increasing the quality of the code that you have produced.


The objective of the exercise is to accomplish the following:

Choose your problem

You and a partner have likely generated a solution. Outside of class you have also likely developed two independent solutions. Select one of the solutions that both of you created.

Perform a Code Review

The chosen solution will now be reviewed by the group.

The original author will act in the role of the presenter or facilitator.

The other individuals within the group will act as the reviewers.


The other individuals are aware of the overall goal of the system. What they are likely not aware of is the the implementation. Take a moment to think about your implementation:

  • Important conceptual concepts
  • Application flow
  • Source code layout
  • Unfinished areas
  • Strengths
  • Areas needing improvement
  • Weaknesses

Ensure during the presentation of the code you stop to answer questions. Comments, questions, and suggestions made about the code should be captured. It is often quickest to simply add comments within the code around the section of discussion.

Often times you know the strengths and weakness of your code the best and
might actually be the strongest reviewer of it. When you do review it do
not hesitate to write down your own comments for later self.

As a reviewer you want to gain an understanding of this system. To help guide your questions it may be helpful to select a role (e.g. future maintainer, consumer) to help you guide your questions. Your first goal is to ask questions about the code to help you gain an understanding of the implementation. Your second goal is to ask questions and make statements to help improve the code.

When you discover what you believe is a deficiency or discrepancy it is
important for you to tactifully bring that to the authors attention. 
Providing assistance tactfully is difficult. One way of providing feedback
is to ask more *questions* that lead you to find the deficiency initially.

Exercise Retrospective

As this is in itself a retrospective on the code that you have already written it might feel unnecessary but I encourage you to contemplate these questions.

  • Was it difficult conveying your implementation to other individuals?

  • What questions or suggestions did they ask that you had not initial thought about while developing the code or preparing to present it?

  • Was it uncomfortable to have other individuals look at your code and give you feedback?

  • Was it difficult to give someone feedback on their code? What was difficult in providing the feedback?

  • Was there a point where you did not understand the implementation? What did you do at that point?

  • How did you feel about your code before it was reviewed?

  • How did you feel about your code after it was reviewed?


Further Exercise

Within the short time allotted to the exercise it was likely that you were able to receive feedback on your implementation but not able to make the changes suggested. This exercise time is dedicated to implementing those suggestions

I encourage you to also perform the following

  • Write tests or improve test coverage

  • Improve documentation

From the previous exercise

You may have implemented none, one, or some of the additional suggestions from last weeks exercise. I encourage you to continue pursuing an implementation:

  • Choose an additional configuration input source

  • Change one of your additional configuration sources slightly, requiring you to change how you parse the input.

  • Provide the ability to support but the origin configuration source and this new modified configuration source (this may be a configuration difference).

  • Copy a configuration feature from Cucumber or RSpec