Software Code Review

What is a software code review?

A software code review is the systematic examination of computer source code. It is intended to find mistakes overlooked in the initial development phase, improving the overall quality of software. Reviews are done in various forms such as pair programming, informal walkthroughs, and formal inspections. A code review is the most commonly used procedure for validating the design and implementation of new features. It helps software engineers to maintain consistency between design and implementation styles.

What does your code look like?

Good and bad software

Sample Software Code Review


In the above diagrams, each circle represents a file and the size of the circle represents the cyclomatic complexity of the file, this can be seen as the complexity of the code in the file. The colour of the circle represents the maintainability index – green files are easier to maintain than red files and yellow files are an area of concern but can be tolerated depending on their size. Large red circles within the code are areas of major concern as they represent files with severe coding style and structure problems, which make them harder and costlier to maintain and develop further, should you want to add new features.

software code review benefits to your business

• Understand the quality of your code and assess whether it still follows the current business logic
• Move the business forward and get ahead of the competition by understanding if your code is fit to add new features to make your business more competitive, attract new clients and create business efficiencies
• Understand if your codebase is scalable to provide a stable base to grow your business
• Understand the capability of your in-house software engineer or team and ensure that their skillset is aligned with your business goals
• Share the code to reduce the risk of a lone engineer leaving your organisation
• Ability to understand the cost of maintaining the code and be able to budget effectively
• Preventative maintenance ensures that any potential issues are resolved before they occur and prevents any downtime of the site and disruption to day to day business function
• Finding bugs early when they are more cost effective to fix and haven’t caused any lost revenue
• Coding standards compliance- code review helps to maintain consistent coding style across the company.
• Teaching and sharing knowledge- during a review will ensure team members gain a better understanding of the code base and learn from each other.
• Consistent design and implementation- peer review helps to maintain a level of consistency in software design and implementation across your organisation
• Higher software security- applications that require a high level of security benefit from targeted security reviews.
• The confidence of stakeholders and potential investors – you will build the confidence of stakeholders about the technical quality of the code and sustainability of the business.

Typical contents of a software code review
• First Impressions
• Architecture
• Security of the code
• Version Control
• Package Manager
• Testing
• Code Metrics
• PHP Metrics
• Structural and design elements
• Data model
• Hardware considerations

Beyond avoiding the financial consequences and damaged reputations caused by bad code, reviewing and testing your code will ensure that it’s well documented and correct. This process will also ensure that the code is algorithmically and architecturally efficient. Magma has over 19 years’ experience in writing and reviewing code and are able to provide you with a comprehensive report to enable you to develop an action plan from the software code review, to ensure your code base is able to meet the needs of your business now and into the future.