Reviews are a prominent part of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). A review is a process of looking over a document/ piece of code for the purpose of evaluation, for examining the quality or for approval.
The reviews are done in various ways. But there are majorly three types of reviews. Informal reviews, Formal reviews and Walkthroughs.
Informal reviews are also known as Peer reviews. In this type of reviews, the reviewer gets his/ her documents or code verified by a peer (a co-worker). The findings of this type of review is not documented. This is majorly done to assess the content and the quality of the work.
The walkthroughs are generally done in the groups. The author of the document/ code leads the group by explaining the work to the group, from training perspective. The participants can suggest the gaps and improvement areas and can ask the questions related to the work.
In a formal review process, we usually have a planned time slot. The meeting room is booked and the attendees are informed. There has to be a reviewer, author, moderator and a recorder. The findings of the review is noted down by the recorder. The moderator will keep track of the time and moderates the review meeting.
A review process may have multiple steps and it may vary from Organization to Organization. However, the basic process will remain same. You can find some tweaks here and there depending up on the process and customer requirements.
In an informal review process, the reviewer reviews the work as per their level of understanding and suggests the changes. The reviewer validates the list of changes and may choose to fix few or all the suggested changes.
In Walkthrough, the author acts as a trainer and the participants becomes in reviewee. The purpose is not fault finding but to transit the knowledge and improvement of the quality of the work. One of the member makes notes about the suggestions. It depends on the author whether he/she wants to incorporate the suggested changes.
A formal review process consists of defined steps. There are majorly five main steps involved in the formal review process:
In the planning phase, a self-review of the work need to be done. The availability of the reviewer and other participants is requested. A meeting request should be sent accordingly along with the copy of the work, which needs to be reviewed.
The next step is to get the confirmation from all the participants and get ready for the meeting. Moderator will moderate the meeting and keeps the track of the time. Moderator also ensures that everyone is on time and does not deviate from the topic while the review process is goes on.
The review starts with the explanation of the work by the author. The recorder will keep the record of suggestions and corrections, which need to be made in the work. Reviewer(s) will review the work and suggests the changes and corrections. At the end of the meeting, the author will thank everyone.
After the meeting, the author will collect all the suggestions from the recorder and incorporate the suggestions in his/ her work. The updated document is emailed to the reviewer for final check.
In case, some more updates are required, the reviewer will communicate the same to the author directly. A follow-up is done on the fixing of the suggestions by the reviewed and a follow up is expected by the author for getting his/ her work reviewed and approved.
Reviews are crucial part of SDLC and are an important aspect of static testing. The reviews of every artifacts of a project has to be done to ensure the better quality output. It is not necessary to always opt for Walkthroughs or Formal Reviews as they are quite time consuming. We can also choose informal or peer reviews to get a check done on our work.