Organizational Support in codes?

The way companies and their engineering organizations approach code reviews is a big element of how efficient they can be. Organizations that view them as unimportant and trivial end up investing little in making reviews easier. In cultures like this, it might be tempting to just do away with code reviews entirely. Engineers advocating for doing better code reviews might feel isolated, without support from above and eventually give up. The result is an organization where problems continue to repeat and compound upon themselves.

Organizations with good code reviews ensure that all engineers take part in the code review process—even those that might be working on solo projects. They encourage raising the quality bar, and teams facilitate healthy discussions on code review approaches both at the team and org level. These companies often have code review guides for larger codebases that engineers initiated and wrote. Organizations like this recognise that code reviews take up a good chunk of engineers’ time. Many of these companies will add code reviews as expectations to the developer job competencies, expecting senior engineers to spend a larger chunk of their time reviewing the code of others.

Organizations with better code reviews have hard rules around no code making it to production without a code review—just as business logic changes don’t make it to production without automated tests. These organizations have learned that the cost of cutting corners is not worth it; instead, they have processes for expedited reviews for urgent cases. These organizations invest in developer productivity, including working continually to develop more efficient code reviews and tooling improvements. Helpful engineering executives don’t need convincing on the benefits of code reviews and other engineering best practices. Instead, they support initiatives on better tooling or more efficient code review processes that come from teams.

When people come across reviews that feel hostile, they feel they can speak up and have support all-round to resolve the issue. Senior engineers and managers consider code reviews that are not up to the bar just as much of an issue as sloppy code or poor behavior. Both engineers and engineering managers feel empowered to improve how code reviews are done.