The 2018 State of Code Review
We asked 1100 developers about their code review process. Read how teams across 35 industries are collaborating on their code.
Develop | Posted July 26, 2018

We recently published this year’s edition of “The State of Code Review: Trends and Insights into Collaborative Development”, a report that has benchmarked trends and techniques in software development for the last 5 years. From February to April of this year, SmartBear surveyed software professionals asking for information on their team’s review processes, tool usage, and adoption of development trends. Here are some highlights:

Key Findings

Code Review is the #1 Way to Improve Code Quality

For the 3rd straight year, respondents identified code review as the #1 way to improve code quality, receiving nearly a fourth of the vote out of 10 presented options. This year’s analysis included a new component, satisfaction with one’s code review process. The correlation between code review satisfaction and code quality satisfaction was stronger than any other factor or behavior.

By cross-referencing development practices with code review satisfaction, this year’s analysis identified 7 actionable insights for teams and organizations to improve their process. One of these insights focuses on the impact of repository management tools. Surprisingly, regardless of if a team is using GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, or no tool at all, there is no significant difference in code review satisfaction.

So what does make a difference? And specifcally, what practices should your team adopt to make your code reviews work for you?

In the last section of our report, we outline 7 data-driven code review best practices. By looking at teams who are most satisfied with their code review process and overall code quality, we found that behavior frequency, approach-type, and reporting all surfaced as important factors for teams with a satisfactory code review process.

To see how each impacts code review satisfaction and what practices your team should enact, you can download and read our full 30-page report here:

Read the 2018 State of Code Review Report

One of our recommendations is to, at least in some part, adopt a tool-based code review process. Teams using a dedicated code review tool are significantly more satisfied with their process and their code. If your team is searching for a tool that can scale with your growing team and standardize a process that fits you, check out Collaborator, SmartBear's peer code and document review tool. You can get started with a free trial.