A while back, I wrote on the subject of code review horror stories. This was mostly for fun, but it does speak to an important truth. Code reviews can be pretty contentious, unpleasant, and even counterproductive when done wrong.
I could spend a bunch of time today talking about how to do them right. But I won’t. Instead, I’ll talk about ideas for how to automate your way around possible points of contention. I’m nothing if not a software developer at heart.
Automated Code Review Goes Beyond the Default Rules
You might be wondering how one “automates around” contentious code reviews. Perhaps you think I’m proposing some kind of pie-in-the-sky scheme to say, “Alexa, review my code.” But no. I’m talking about extending CodeIt.Right’s automated review capabilities.
I have a long-running series on this blog, explaining CodeIt.Right’s automated code review rules. In those posts, I talk about how you should be very deliberate about either heeding the tool’s advice, or deciding to ignore/deactivate a given rule.
But I never really talk about the idea of adding your own rules.
And that’s what we’re going to do today. You don’t have to use a tool like CodeIt.Right only for its out of the box capabilities when it offers you a rich customization platform backed by a fully featured API. You can write your own rules.
And you should write your own rules. Developers waste an awful lot of time in code reviews endlessly rehashing checks that could be automated easily. And just because it’s something perhaps more specific to your team that hasn’t yet been automated doesn’t mean that you can’t automate it—and pretty easily, at that.
So let’s take a look at five ideas for rules you should add to your CodeIt.Right profile.