HELP your Code Review

Code Reviews are a wonderful opportunity to connect with your team, technology and product.

August 29, 2019
dev code

HELP is acronym for Humor, Energy, Learning, Patience

The Version Control Systems that I have been using in recent years are Github (Microsoft) and Bitbucket (Atlassian). Creating Pull Requests (PRs) to do Code Review has never been easier using the tools from either of these VCS offerings.

The code review is one those things that are most susceptible to procrastination and de-prioritization. This can be such a missed opportunity, if one is not aware and awake. Reviewing code on your next availability helps unblock the feature and the dev team. It should be considered of highest priority. Setup Agile Dev Process Workflows to help enable this.

This is the place to learn, spend energy, practice patience, express humor and connect with your team.


My PR review process

1. Pull branch.
2. Setup locally and run.
3. Happy path features.
4. Test it out thoroughly.
5. Look at the diff in the PR.
6. Read the code.
7. Walk through the code with a debugger.
8. Keep documenting comments in the PR during steps `3-7`.

Humor

There is enough seriousness to go around in this world. Using humor tastefully has several advantages.

Humor is Human.

  • Using self-deprecating humor unites and calms.
  • Reduces anxiety and lets out steam.
  • It makes you approachable, kind and human.
  • People like humor and respond better to you.
  • Excellent icebreaker to help connect with the person.
  • Solid way to warm up in the code review.

Practical Tips

  • Share some honest stream-of-conscious self-deprecating humor.
  • Use emojis, for sure!
  • Some witty comments within reason. Nudge don’t poke or provoke.

Energy

Thank the developer for they have shared the work, onus, load etc.

Be thankful for the work done.

This is your chance to show your sincerity, inner energy and raw passion for the work that you do.

Show your thoughtfulness, sincerity and energy.

Practical Tips

  • Put in honest time (timebox/pomodoro).
  • Use phrases like To the best of my knowledge, given my timebox on this.
  • Read every single line.
  • Be genuine in your thoughts and feedback.
  • Provide background, reasons and ask for thoughts.
  • Look for solidity and structure.
  • Learn to let go wherever you can.
  • Share the work load with some code commits (nudges).

Learning

There is always something new to learn, re-learn and learn with fresh perspectives.

Learning is Forever.

Sharing a relevant quote from one of my favorites.

“There’s a little bit of asshole in every nice guy, and there’s a little bit of genius in every moron.” #RDJ

Practical Tips

  • Channel humility and admit to ignorance.
  • Use phrases like What am I missing?.
  • Keep an eye out for learning something new.
  • Identify opportunities to set up standards and automate them (lint rules, pre-commit hooks etc).
  • Find opportunities to apply a new methodology, pattern, service or function.
  • If you think hard and broad, there is always something to learn.

Patience

No one likes to work with an insensitive person lacking empathy.

No such thing as too much patience.

Unless you are wired chill and bohemian, being patient is a muscle to develop.

Lead with Love.

Practical Tips

  • Start by placing some good faith.
  • Use phrases like Can we give it another go-around, What are your thoughts on this?.
  • Think and care about the person.
  • Visualize talking to them face-to-face and share thoughts.
  • Learn, practice and set yourself to genuinely care for this person.
  • Admitting mistakes during review can never be understated.

Hope ya’ll find this mindshare useful.

It helps me flush my thoughts and serves as self-reference.


References

“There’s a little bit of asshole in every nice guy, and there’s a little bit of genius in every moron.” #RDJ

What a Self-Deprecating Sense of Humor Says About Your EQ

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