Five Pull Request Review Anti-patterns

  1. Reciprocal leniency
  2. Inconsistent feedback
  3. Latecomer to the party
  4. Silently abandoned review
  5. Approved not even looking at the code

1. Reciprocal leniency 🤝

2. Inconsistent feedback 🗣️

  • Nit-picking: superficial comments missing the forest for the trees. Detail such as whitespaces and formatting.
  • Pointing out issues outside the scope of the changes.
  • Getting in refactoring rabbit holes for the sake of code beauty.

3. Latecomer to the party 📢

4. Silently abandoned review 😶

  1. They cannot invest the time in making a deep review to provide insightful comments, and
  2. They won’t mark as approved without providing a proper review.

5. Approved not even looking at the code ✅

  1. Time taken by reviewers from first opening the PR until ticking as approved.
  2. Number of files not opened in the PR diff browser.

Conclusion

  • Review the code timely and in depth as you would like yours to be reviewed. (Respect)
  • Consider an approval as becoming co-author of the change. Uphold the standards of your team. (Accountability)
  • Concentrate your comments to the scope of change. Raise other changes separately as technical debt. (Focus)
  • Be more of an engineer than a scientist. The customer gets value from closed PRs, not from long open PRs striving for perfection. (Pragmatism)

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Software Engineer | talks about software, multilingual children

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Alberto Faci

Alberto Faci

Software Engineer | talks about software, multilingual children

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