Code reviews in multiple, globally dispersed teams

Do you believe in code reviews?

I’ve seen many review ‘processes’ fail during my career. Code reviews that tended to turn into abomination 2 hour meetings, reviews that were done only on ‘good commits’, while all bad were passing unnoticed and so on.. I have also found two or three that gradually evolved into something that actually worked – without impairing team’s effectiveness, but helping to share system knowledge, programming practices and finding possible bugs.

Small startup review

Is the code review something that can be afforded in a dynamic startup that wants to grow? In a group of 4 remotely working individuals I’ve been reviewing code post-commit (trunk/master development), mainly to acquire knowledge. All the comments we placed in mails or assembla’s code review tool. This was very lightweight, very ad-hoc. One may argue that everyone reviewing code of everyone else is an overkill, but this worked brilliantly for us. Not only did we manage to keep consistency across the system even when it was 100k+ lines of code, but also were able to easily cover for someone’s task when others were swamped.

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