Agile, Quality & Code Review
Do Agile developers care about quality? That’s like asking if coders are fueled by caffeine.
The first principle of the Agile Manifesto
that helped launch the movement more than 10 years ago states that the ultimate priority is to satisfy the customer. Think of it as the Prime Directive of Agile development.
So how, exactly, do you do that? By delivering “working, valuable software.” Those words from the first sentence of the defining document of Agile development demonstrate that quality has always been vital to Agile developers. If you’ve followed Agile at all, this should come as no surprise. But Agile development is often mischaracterized as quick and dirty. In reality, it’s fast and flexible.
Which begs the question: “What can Agile developers do to improve the quality of their work?” The answer is: “Write unit tests to validate the software.” Unit tests are proven to increase quality and they foster collaboration between developers and the QA team. That helps ensure that tests are correct and thorough. QA testing
is certain to discover defects and boost quality. Thorough testing should be automatic for every developer.
However, there is another practice that’s even more effective at finding bugs, less expensive than QA testing and performed less frequently than either. And that’s peer code review.
Studies show peer code review is the most effective method for finding defects. One analysis of more than 12,000 software projects said code reviews hit 60% efficiency for defect detection while unit tests were only 25% efficient.* For every hour of inspection using peer code review, development teams can save about 20 hours of QA testing.** A good tradeoff, don’t you think? That’s why peer code review should be standard practice for all agile development teams.
Watch our “Is Agile Code Review an Oxymoron” video here.
Collaborator and Agile
is the most popular tool for source code review. It removes roadblocks and makes it easy to share source changes and discuss code design and implementation.
Collaborator lets developers review code online without endless meetings, stacks of printouts, meandering e-mail threads or time-sucking conference calls. It automatically gathers source changes from version control, packages them and displays the changes for reviewers. It just doesn’t get any easier than that.
Developers then review and chat directly on the code itself as Collaborator tracks their changes and correlates them with the code, even when line numbers change. And as if that weren’t good enough, Collaborator automates tedious work, freeing developers to conduct frictionless code reviews.
Ready to help your development team improve customer satisfaction? Click here for a Free Trial of Collaborator
Looking for more details on how SmartBear’s products support Agile teams? Check out our Agile resource center.