Code Reviews for New Joiners

Starting at a new company is overwhelming for most people. The codebase is new, the style of programming is different than before, and people review your code very differently. So should code reviews be gentler for new starters, to get them used to the new environment, or should they keep the bar just as high, as it is for everyone else?

Good code reviews use the same quality bar and approach for everyone, regardless of their job title, level or when they joined the company. Following the above, code reviews have a kind tone, request changes where needed, and will reach out to talk to reviewers when they have many comments.

Better code reviews pay additional attention to making the first few reviews for new joiners a great experience. Reviewers are empathetic to the fact that the recent joiner might not be aware of all the coding guidelines and might be unfamiliar with parts of the code. These reviews put additional effort into explaining alternative approaches and pointing to guides. They are also very positive in tone, celebrating the first few changes to the codebase that the author is suggesting.