A good code review can feel like magic. A skilled code reviewer will deftly work through each part of a pull request, noting potential problems and proposing elegant solutions. If you’re like many developers, you recognize a good code review when you see one. You’ve probably even created a few yourself. But you’re probably also a bit unsure as to how to make sure that your code reviews are good every time.
One way to improve your code reviews consistently is to create a code review checklist that you run through every time you review code. A checklist makes sure that you don’t forget anything. At the same time, that checklist will stop you from turning the code review into a giant slog. You don’t want a simple code review to take hours, but you also don’t want to be the person who approves sketchy code, either.
In this article, we’ll break down the core parts of a pragmatic, lightweight code review checklist that you can use with your team.