In modern software development, finding bugs is critical before software ships, but ensuring that code is well-formatted and documented is equally important. Writing clear software helps everyone. With Collaborator, we can easily exchange code via the Upload and Download features, and developers suggest improvements for the code, formatting, and documentation right on the code itself through online live chat and news-group-style comments. Defects are automatically tracked, and diffs on re-worked code show up automatically too. You cannot do that on paper!
During implementation, the only challenges we had were how (peer vs. formal) and when (before code check-in or after code check-in) to do reviews, but we found that each team conducts code reviews to suit their needs. Collaborator is flexible enough that it easily supports all the different workflows that we use.
We’re very pleased with the results. Collaborator is a complete package, and now that it’s in place, the manual code review process has been eliminated. All reviews are conducted online, where we find the inline comments and live chat correlated to each line of code particularly helpful. We like how easy Collaborator is to use – it lets us focus on the code inspection tasks.
The tool’s integration with Perforce and configurable workflow also save us significant time and help us follow processes that work best for us. Collaborator gives us the option to enforce code reviews before code is committed to source control, thus raising the level and importance of code reviews to “first class citizens.” Of course, this enforcement option can be turned on or off at various stages of development, giving us the flexibility to schedule code reviews as needed.
I wanted our team to spend more time reviewing code and less time filling in paper work. The time we saved by eliminating the manual process is time we now spend improving the quality of the code. We estimate that Collaborator will pay for itself in a matter of months based on the time savings it provides.
Platform: Windows, Linux
Source Control Management Software: Perforce ®
Development Environment: .NET, C#, C/C++, Embedded C/C++
Industry: 9-1-1 Emergency Response and Systems Management Solutions