Mark Norman Francis on Don’t Be Scared of Code Reviews
Norm explained that the purpose of a code review is not to criticise other people’s code. The findings are not escalated, there is no formal output – just for folks involved. Except Security problems, which are tracked in Bugzilla. So why bother?
- Verification – adhere to internal standards.
- Training – informal education of expectations of new hires
- Collective wisdom – [you will be assimilated!] Experts pass on their knowledge.
They are looking for, in HTML – valid, semantic, accessible.
CSS – valid (hacks separated out), modular (hung off ONE id – means you can reuse code on another part of site without relying on cascade), cross-browser (graded browser support)
Don’t care too much about programmed page weight – ads multiply page weight hugely anyway. Page weight is not very relevent to each user but is to Yahoo!, since so many hits could mean server overload.
Perl/PHP must be documented (in the code, externally), understandable, standardised
How do they work? Time taken doing them is minimised. Quiet time is set aside beforehand for people doing the reviewing, away from email, IM etc.
During review, items are explained by reviewer, while the coder keeps quiet. A mooderator takes notes for them both, which are tabled for later. Then follow-up – the lead developer confirms that the problems identified have been rectified before code goes live.
Me on Taking Better Pictures
I’ll post the main contents of my presentation in later posts, but it seemed to be fairly well received, with about a dozen folks coming to listen.
Andy Mitchell & James McCarthy on “Free Schmee”
Andy and James were talking about APIs and using them in a modular fashion – why invent the wheel again when you could reuse another API to do certain tasks, such as user verification. They freely admitted they’d been penning their presentation hastily when they’d rather have been attending mine. But never mind, it was still an interesting few minutes!
[James and Andy argue about who’s going to work the slides…]
Next was dinner: geeks + pizza + beer = culinary carnage. At least there was no washing up!
[Colin Schlüter surveys the carnage]
I stayed chat with Andy Mitchell and John Wilson for quite a while after dinner, but made it to the main auditorium , back end of Ask Us Anything panel. Someone rashly asked to see the panel dance!
[Norm! shakes his booty, watched by Simon, Steve, James and Aral]
Of course, it wasn’t long before someone asked “when can we play Werewolf!” So, most reconvened to the restaurant area and three groups started. Not sure how many games were played altogether, but I think it was at least nine, with various permutations of people flitting from one circle to anther.
[a wolf in gnome’s clothing, perhaps? Tom Coates ponders who he’s going to bite next; James Wheare (Wolf??) and Cristiano Betta don’t seem worried by his proximity!]
And so to bed, perchance to sleep, at 4am… fat chance – wished the floor wasn’t so hard. Got up again 4 hours later to find most still comatose:
Your “unknown victim” is James Wheare 🙂
I believe that in this game we where both the wolf. We lost….