Everybody loves building a great program that functions smoothly and that consumers love. However, few people love the review process. As a result, updates that are ridden with small bugs get released for major software, and these can result in thousands upon thousands of complaints.
It’s important to understand that while you can never fully eliminate bugs from your code, you can do a lot to decrease the instances and minimize the severity of the bugs that do rear their ugly heads from time to time. To achieve this, you have to learn how to properly review your code first.
So, now that you understand the implications of not reviewing your code, let’s take a look at a great checklist for code review that you can implement starting today.
Make sure that every piece of code is absolutely necessary. It’s very easy to end up with blocks of code that serve no purpose, especially when you’re looking at larger programs. Sometimes there was an idea that was half-way coded, then abandoned, and is now just a hunk of junk floating around in space.
These can cause bugs by interfering with the compiler or by interfering with other methods and classes. If it doesn’t serve a purpose, get rid of it or improve it until it does serve a purpose.
Sometimes, people get into the zone and put way too much functionality in one file. It’s a good idea to separate your classes, policies, models etc. into smaller sections. A lot of the time, this is due to repetitive code. Eliminate repetition and find a way to do more with less. This will decrease the overall size of your program files and ensure smoother execution.
The most common cause of bugs by far is the poor syntax. A missed semicolon, extra brace, or incorrect spacing can cause entire methods and conditionals to not work. Using third-party tools and your own two eyes, go through each page of code and ensure that there aren’t any obvious errors.
Nobody likes to write tests. They’re boring, repetitive, and they take time to write. However, they are hands-down the best way to ensure that your software is running correctly prior to deployment.
When you compile the code, make sure that there are no errors. Many people get so excited to release the software that they ignore compiler errors altogether. 90% of the time, they’re trying to tell you that you need to go back and fix your code.
Well, there’s the easiest checklist for code review that you’ll ever see. While you can always do more, if you can stick to these, then you’ll greatly reduce the number of bugs. If you can reduce your bugs, then you’ll be able to reduce the amount of work that you have to put in looking through old code and dealing with customer complaints.
It’s a small price to pay for giving you and your users peace of mind.
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