Reviewing a pull request
Last modified on Mon 17 May 2021

Optimism is an occupational hazard of programming; feedback is the treatment. - Kent Beck

This guide should help you review code better. A good code review will provide a lot of useful things, but some of them are:

Language of the code review

Good examples:

this won't work because the function is async.

this file should go to components/shared because this is an atom component and can be reused on another page

I'm not sure this does what it's meant to do. Looking at the service as a whole the code should probably allow the end user to construct this out of exported functions.

Bad examples:

can you please update this function documentation as well?

this is not according to our guidelines

naming is not correct here

pls fix.

When do I review pull requests?

Reviewing a pull request could (and should) take time. This is not to be rushed since you vouch for the quality of the code that's on review.

Pull requests should not stay unattended for more than 24 hours. This means you should pick them up and start the review in that period. When you do them however is entirely up to you and your team.

This can be specifically hard to do if you review multiple projects or work in a larger team. If this is the case you might want to think about assigning a certain part of the day to do them.

Be sure to communicate this to your project manager so it gets reflected in your sprint availability.

Code review is an integral part of the development cycle and therefore should be time tracked on the appropriate task/service on the project.

How do I review a pull request?

Start by reading the feature that's delivered. Look at the design files, get to know the business logic behind it, understand the requirements.

Next up is scanning the files for common errors or typos, etc. - things that stand out right away. Comment them and if they are blocking enough return the pull request to the developer.

You should have the project you're reviewing checked out locally and you should run both the project and the tests on every pull request. Your review is not complete unless you click through the feature and verify at least the happy path.

Take a look at the code coverage and look for missing things there, are all branches tested or even developed?

You, too, are taking part in the chain of quality assurance here.

Common things to look out for

Some of these checks can be automated on pull requests (e.g. code coverage). Talk to your resident devops to help you set this up.


Every developer is responsible for their code. But - you as a reviewer share the responsibility as well when you sign off a feature and allow it to merge.