Monday, January 26, 2009

Book Review: Best Kept Secrets of Peer Code Review

Best Kept Secrets of Peer Code Review (Modern Approach. Practical Advice.) is a different kind of book. I like to know statistical data and see the reasons that people interpret them a certain way. This entire book is an argument for using a tool for Peer Code review. And that there are time limits that should be used when reviewing someone's code. The limits seem in line with other studies showing how long someone can concentrate on anything before needing a break. And then the law of diminishing returns is discussed. Looking for defects for longer than an hour seems to not be worth it.

Using these simple limits and a tool an individual should spend 2 to 4 15 or 30 minute sessions reviewing code.

The tool discussions were more interesting. Having a tool that will allow a developer to monitor how long is spent reviewing code, track annotations and allow chatting between people who are reviewing sounds good. It just so happens that the author Jason Cohen works for SmartBear Software and you can buy software that does that exact thing.

I've never used any software to coordinate code reviews, but after reading this book I definitely will be looking into software and it's costs. It's at least worth considering.