Definition

code review

Code review is a phase in the software development process in which the authors of code, peer reviewers, and perhaps quality assurance (QA) testers get together to review code. Finding and correcting errors at this stage is relatively inexpensive and tends to reduce the more expensive process of handling, locating, and fixing bugs during later stages of development or after programs are delivered to users.

Reviewers read the code line by line to check for:

  • Flaws or potential flaws
  • Consistency with the overall program design
  • The quality of comments
  • Adherence to coding standards.

Code review may be especially productive for identifying security vulnerabilities. Specialized application programs are available that can help with this process. Automated code reviewing facilitates systematic testing of source code for potential trouble such as buffer overflows, race conditions, memory leakage, size violations, and duplicate statements. Code review is also commonly done to test the quality of patches.

This was last updated in February 2007
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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