We know code reviews are invaluable. They promote the sharing of knowledge between developers and are crucial in increasing code quality while decreasing code brittleness. We also know that they can be extremely laborious and disruptive to our workflow, while not being particularly beneficial for us when quarterly reviews roll around.

But before we get into where code reviews went wrong, we need to first understand why they were implemented in the first place.

Systematic code reviews have been in place for about as long as software has been written. Research dating back to 1976 shows that human beings inspecting code is the most effective way to find and eliminate complex problems that originate in requirements, design, and other non-code deliverables1.

Studies have shown the average effectiveness of design and code inspections are between 55 and 60 percent in defect detection2. What does that mean? Conducting code reviews may feel like a waste of time in the short term, but the payoff is immeasurable for the health of your codebase.

Now, in the days of agile workflows and ever-growing project demands from stakeholders, is it any wonder peer code reviews have gone the way of the dinosaurs? We’ve all but made them obsolete without considering the ramifications. We don’t consider what we’re losing out on by not giving code reviews the time and effort they deserve or the deleterious drag it has on company culture.

What we do now is shorten the entire process down to 5–15 minutes, and, when a bug invariably shows up in the code we poorly reviewed, we throw the author under the bus. The harm this has on team morale and mentorship is manifold.

Code reviews are broken for one major reason: We don't know when we should put effort into a review -vs- quickly glance through it.

Knowing this, how can we ensure that your are able to understand when to focus on a PR? By providing you with a clear measurement of how likely the change will cause a bug. SourceField is the dev tool that tells you when to focus and how long a review will take so you can start shipping code reliably and without bugs.

With SourceField, you'll be able to breeze through code reviews - allowing you and your team to move fast and not break things!


1 - Design and code inspections to reduce errors in program development

2 - Code Reviews: Just Do It


SourceField enables dev teams to know how risky a code change is, giving them the superpower to move fast and don't break things. SourceField's code intelligence platform analyzes your code changes, who & what is affected, and then highlights that on every Pull Request. If you’re ready to help build the developer tool of tomorrow, check out our open roles: https://www.sourcefield.io/job-listings.