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Code Reviews for Fun and Profit

Location: Portland 252 Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.32, 28 ratings)

How do you ensure all of your codebase is correct, efficient, readable, well-tested, well-documented, bug-free…? How do you ensure that all of the team is familiar with every nook and cranny of the codebase (so that the sudden absence of one or two team members can’t stall the project because they’re the only ones knowledgeable about a certain part of the code)? These are ambitious though worthy objectves, but the proper use of code reviews can help you get closer to each and every one of them.

This isn’t controversial: in theory, everybody loves and honors code reviews, in both open- and closed-source software; so why do so many developers actually loathe them, and why are they skimped on (or only perfunctorily performed) so often? Answer: that’s because they’re often not done right! There are traps and pitfalls to avoid in performing code reviews, and “best practices” for them… in fact, they must align with all other aspects of your project: technical ones, people/community ones, and business model ones as well. This talk explores this often-neglected “best practice” of software development, covering the bases and offering tips, examples and general advice.

Photo of Alex Martelli

Alex Martelli


Alex Martelli wrote “Python in a Nutshell” and co-edited
“Python Cookbook”. He’s a PSF member, and won the 2002
Activators’ Choice Award and the 2006 Frank Willison Award
for contributions to the Python community. He works as Uber
Tech Lead for Google. You can read some PDFs and
watch some videos of his past presentations.

OSCON 2008