Code review is essential in software development, serving as a critical process that significantly enhances the overall quality of source code. What is code review? It’s a thorough examination to identify and fix errors that might otherwise compromise system logic, architecture development, and testing phases. Effective code review mitigates issues like string formatting errors, race conditions, memory leaks, and buffer overruns, thereby boosting software security and fostering collaboration through version control systems. Moreover, dedicated code review tools further streamline this process, making automated code review a valuable asset for developers aiming for excellence in their projects.

Who is this article for?
This article is for software developers, teams, and businesses interested in code review’s importance and best practices.
Key takeaways
  • Code review enhances code quality, fosters collaboration, and identifies issues early.
  • Properly assigned reviewers code consistency and detailed feedback are essential.
  • Code review benefits businesses with improved quality, security, and efficiency.

What is a code review?

A code review is a critical quality assurance practice in software development, where peers review code to identify errors and ensure it aligns with coding standards. This process aims to catch bugs early in the software development lifecycle and promotes collaboration and knowledge sharing among developers. Through code review, teams can significantly enhance code quality, ensuring the software remains robust and reliable. Utilizing code review tools can further streamline this process, making it integral to maintaining high-quality codebases.

code review

What is an automated code review?

An automated code review leverages code review tools to scan code and systematically identify issues without manual intervention. This form of code review enhances efficiency, ensuring standards are consistently met across the project. Automated code review tools play a crucial role in modern development workflows by providing immediate feedback, allowing developers to address potential problems swiftly. Essentially, what is code review in today’s fast-paced development environments? It’s a blend of human expertise and automated precision aimed at producing superior software.

Quality is not an act, it is a habit.


Why is a code review important?

Code review is crucial in software development because it greatly improves the quality of the code by quickly identifying and fixing bugs. In addition to detecting bugs, code review promotes knowledge sharing among developers, skill development, and adherence to best practices. This process, supported by automated code review tools, simplifies quality testing and documentation, making integrating and updating features easier. In essence, what is code review? It is the key to creating reliable and high-quality software, which is integral to Agile methodologies and risk management.

The role of code review in software development

The role of code review in software development is multifaceted, enhancing clarity, communication, and security within the coding process. Through code review, developers are encouraged to refine their code, making it more accessible and understandable for peers, which fosters a shared coding language. It acts as a platform for establishing coding conventions organically, directly from hands-on practice. Furthermore, manual and automated code review methods, supported by code review tools, significantly reduce vulnerabilities, ensuring a robust codebase. What is code review if not a crucial step towards high-quality, secure software development?

How to do a code review

Code review is a pivotal element in software development, crucial for enhancing the final product’s quality. This guide will delve into effectively reviewing code, leveraging both manual practices and automated code review tools.

  • Prepare for the review

Before initiating a code review, it’s crucial to set aside time to understand the code thoroughly. This preparation phase involves getting acquainted with the code’s purpose and aligning it with the team’s coding standards. It’s the first step in ensuring a productive code review process, emphasizing the importance of comprehending the code and its context within the broader project goals.

  • Start the review

Starting the code review means engaging deeply with the code. This phase of the code review process is characterized by a dialogue between the reviewer and the author, focusing on the intricacies of the code. The review code conversation is critical for clarifying intentions and ensuring the code meets its objectives.

  • Review the design

During the code review, evaluating the code’s design against the project’s architectural standards is essential. This part of the code review ensures that the code fits within the existing system and adheres to best practices. Reviewing the code’s design is about ensuring coherence and compatibility within the overall application architecture.

  • Check correctness

Checking the code for correctness is a fundamental aspect of code review. This involves verifying that the code functions as intended and meets the project’s requirements. The code review process here is focused on identifying and rectifying any errors or issues that could compromise the code’s effectiveness.

  • Review code style and standards

Reviewing the code for adherence to style and standards is vital for maintaining consistency across the project. This stage of the code review emphasizes the importance of following established coding conventions, ensuring that the code is both readable and maintainable. Code review tools often assist in highlighting discrepancies from the team’s code standards.

  • Check for code smells.

Code smells indicate potential problems; identifying them is a key part of the code review process. Reviewing the code for smells involves looking for signs of deeper issues that could affect the code’s quality and performance. Addressing code smells during the code review is crucial for maintaining a healthy codebase.

  • Examine Readability

Ensuring the code is readable is essential for a successful code review. Reviewing the code for clarity and simplicity makes it easier for others to understand and work with it. A code review focusing on readability helps promote best practices and improves the codebase’s overall quality.

  • Review tests

Reviewing the associated tests during a code review ensures that the code is thoroughly tested and reliable. This part of the code review process checks for comprehensive test coverage and the effectiveness of the tests in verifying the code’s functionality. Effective tests are crucial for a robust code review outcome.

  • Evaluate security and performance

Evaluating the code for security and performance issues is critical to code review. This involves scrutinizing the code to identify any vulnerabilities or inefficiencies. Code review tools can be instrumental in this phase, offering automated analysis to complement the reviewer’s expertise.

  • Provide feedback

Providing constructive feedback is a cornerstone of the code review process. Effective code review feedback addresses issues within the code while offering suggestions for improvement. This feedback loop is essential for refining the code and fostering professional growth among team members.

  • Communicate

Communication is key to a successful code review. This involves open dialogue and collaboration between the reviewer and the code author. Effective communication during the code review ensures that concerns are addressed and that the code achieves its intended purpose.

  • Summarize your review

Summarizing the findings of a code review provides a clear overview of the code’s status. This summary should encapsulate the key points from the code review, offering a concise evaluation of the code and its readiness for integration or the need for further revisions.

  • Resolve issues

The final step in the code review process involves resolving any identified issues within the code. This phase ensures that the code meets the project’s quality standards and fulfills its intended functionality. Resolution may involve code modifications or further discussion to clarify the code’s approach.

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Best code review tools

Selecting the right code review tools is pivotal for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the code review process. These tools offer a range of functionalities, from automated analysis to integration with version control systems, streamlining the review code workflow. Whether you’re conducting a manual code review or utilizing automated code review methods, choosing a tool that aligns with your project’s size, complexity, and budget is essential. Let’s explore some of the best code review tools available, highlighting their key features and how they can optimize your code review process.

Review Board

review board

Review Board is a leading code review tool that simplifies the review code process for developers and teams. With the Review Board, users can conduct both pre-commit and post-commit reviews, integrating seamlessly with various version control systems like Git and SVN. Its ability to host on your server offers flexibility, making it a go-to choice for those seeking a reliable, web-based code review solution. The Review Board enhances code review efficiency, supporting a broad community for troubleshooting and support.



GitHub, one of the best tools for reviewing code, is revolutionizing how developers review code. Its integrated code review feature within pull requests streamlines collaboration and improves code quality. With GitHub, you can easily comment, discuss, and resolve issues directly in the interface, offering a seamless code review process. Whether utilizing automated code review functionalities or manually reviewing changes, GitHub’s platform is designed to accommodate private and open-source projects, making it indispensable for developers worldwide.

Visual Expert

Visual Expert

Visual Expert is an exceptional code review tool specializing in database code analysis for PowerBuilder, SQL Server, and Oracle PL/SQL. It not only facilitates traditional code reviews but also predicts performance impacts, offering a unique advantage for database developers. Visual Expert stands out by providing comprehensive documentation of your application, enhancing understanding and maintainability. If database development is your focus, incorporating Visual Expert into your code review process is a strategic move to ensure quality and performance.



CodeScene differentiates itself among code review tools by offering behavioral code analysis, adding a temporal dimension to understand the evolution of your codebase. This automated code review tool applies machine learning to identify patterns and risks, making it invaluable for teams aiming to maintain a healthy, efficient codebase. CodeScene’s insights into team dynamics and code hotspots guide targeted improvements, elevating the code review process beyond traditional methodologies. For a forward-thinking approach to reviewing code, CodeScene is a pioneering choice.



Rhodecode is a versatile code review tool supporting Mercurial, Git, and Subversion, tailored for collaborative code review processes. Its web-based platform facilitates secure, efficient code collaboration, enhanced by a visual changelog and online code editor. Whether opting for the cloud-based or on-premise solution, Rhodecode offers a comprehensive suite for reviewing code, emphasizing security and collaboration. Ideal for teams seeking an integrated, user-friendly code review experience, Rhodecode stands out for its adaptability and robust features.

Why should you hire someone to do code reviews?

Hiring someone for code review is a strategic move to enhance software quality and efficiency. An external code review provides a fresh perspective, crucial for identifying issues that in-house developers might overlook. This approach allows your team to focus on development, adding features, and making progress while experts with specialized code review tools and automated code review systems handle the code review process. Leveraging external talent for code reviews ensures more effective use of resources, capitalizing on well-established methodologies to streamline the code review process and deliver superior results.

Final Decision

The importance of code review in the software development lifecycle cannot be overstated. By implementing code review practices, whether through manual efforts to review code or leveraging automated code review systems, teams can significantly improve the quality and security of their codebase. Code review tools are pivotal in facilitating this process, making it more efficient and manageable. They help identify bugs and errors early in the development process and foster a culture of collaboration and learning among developers. 

Ficus Technologies stands at the forefront of enabling organizations to harness the full potential of code review. With expertise in automated code review solutions and a deep understanding of code review tools, Ficus Technologies can help your team streamline its code review processes.

What are the key benefits of implementing code reviews?

Implementing code reviews offers several key benefits: it significantly improves code quality by identifying bugs and issues early in the development process, reducing the cost and time required for fixing them later. It promotes adherence to coding standards, ensuring consistency across the project. Code reviews facilitate knowledge sharing among team members, enhancing skills and understanding of the codebase and the project as a whole. They also foster a culture of collaboration as developers engage in constructive dialogue and feedback, leading to more maintainable, robust, and secure software. Additionally, code reviews can help detect security vulnerabilities early, making the software more secure.

How do I prepare my code for a review?

Preparing your code for a review involves several steps to ensure it is ready for constructive feedback. Firstly, ensure your code is clean and follows the project’s coding standards and guidelines. This includes proper formatting, naming conventions, and commenting where necessary. Run your code through automated tests to catch any obvious issues beforehand. Organize your code changes into small, manageable chunks to make the review process more efficient and easier for reviewers to understand the context. Write a clear description of what your changes aim to achieve, including any specific areas where you seek feedback. Lastly, double-check for any sensitive information and remove it before submission.

Sergey Miroshnychenko
My company has assisted hundreds of businesses in scaling engineering teams and developing new software solutions from the ground up. Let’s connect.