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Discussion on: What's your typical process for reviewing a pull request in GitHub?

david_j_eddy profile image
David J Eddy

When I did code reviews, and for any team I lead from a technical aspect for, my a review has three phases of confirmation:

  • Automatic

    • Did the testing pass? If not, stop.
    • Did the change add/remove tests? Why?
    • Did the code quality decrease measurably?
    • Did the change introduce possible future technical debt? Is it acceptable?
    • Did any of the tooling indicate a decrease in maintainability or compliance?
  • Operation

    • Does the change satisfy the statement of work submitted for the change?
    • Does the change logic look reasonable?
    • Can I follow the logic change in text, mentally, and not get lost.
  • Experience

    • From the end/admin/manager/etc users perspective does the change function as expected?

Sure it seems like a lot, and yes it may slow down the merge process a bit. But in my experience taking a little longer to review code can help prevent issues from getting to production.

The holy grain though is a 100% automated process with confidence in the automation that when a change begins throwing errors the changes are rolled back, the errors logged, and the committing developer alerted. But that is a story for another time.

darkes profile image
Victor Darkes

Really thorough answer. I agree with it all!

pgangwani profile image

Adding to this I ask to use screencastify plugin and create gif to compare experience/features before and after changes.

mateusz__be profile image
Mateusz Bełczowski

Wow, I need to write that down. Great list

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Great looking checklist!

developarvin profile image
Arthur Vincent Simon

For frontend development, there seems to be an additional step that is needed.

Pull Requests should be accompanied by UI reviews. Because you can only see so much in code.

jmervine profile image
Joshua Mervine • Edited on

Love this list!

A comment on the first point...

I don’t always stop if the tests aren’t passing , especially when reviewing less senior level engineers PRs. I’ve found that in a collaborative environment, a detailed review in spite of test failures often shows an obvious mistake that can quickly be pointed out, increasing the overall velocity of the initiative.

One possible addition...

Reviewing the test additions or updates first can often guide the review nicely, framing the changes in an easy to follow and logical way. Plus, if reviewing someone for the first time, it helps clarify the patterns and structures they use.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern