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Reviews of Design And Code

Conducting reviews is one of the activities of system verification. It simply involves reviewing or examining the product. A review according of IEEE, standard is defined as “A process or meeting during which a work product or a set of work products is presented to project personnel, managers, users, customers, or other interested parties for comment or approval.” If conducted properly revise can find many defects early in the life cycle and can reduce a lot of rework which can consume 30-50% of project costs.

Reviews are methodical examinations of software work products by the producers; peer to identify defects and places where changes are needed. People get together to work towered quality and technical correctness. They are an assumed part of the software development, enhancement, and maintenance process. The terms review and inspection are sometimes viewed as two different things, where a review is considered less formal than an inspection. Here, we treat an inspection as a type of formal review.

What Gets Reviewed?

The nature and format of deliverable change with each software product development phase. Despite their differences, each deliverable will be reviewed in a standard type of review session. Each will become output or “exit criteria” from the associate phase. Items for review are as follows:
•    Any software artifact (deliverable)
•    Anything that can be carted and described
•    A deliverable that is particularly complex
•    A cross-functional product
•    Deliverable that need to be taught to someone else.

Who is Involved in Reviews?

 Software project managers are involved in peer reviews to the extent that they support the process. They provide the facilities such as meeting based upon them. Most importantly, software PMs allow the process to occur unimpeded. Enough time is built into schedule for reviews, and all team members are trained on the process. Once the foundation is formed and management expectations are set (“we believe in peer reviews” comes from the top) then managers are well served to turn the job over to the team. Peer reviews are just that reviews by the peers of the developers; managers need not apply

Peers play defined roles. Each role carries with it the specific behaviors, skills, and knowledge needed to achieve the expert practice of software reviews. These roles are listed here:
•    Author
•    Moderator (facilitator, review leader)
•    Presenter (reader)
•    Scriber (reader)
•    Inspectors(s) reviewer(s)

Here is an overview of the Roles played in the review meeting:

The author is ultimately responsible for updating the work product after the review. This is usually the person who originally constructed the work product.

The moderator (facilitator or review leader) ensures that the other review team members perform their roles to the best of their ability. He leads the meeting and keeps if on track while maintaining neutrality (has no vested wettest in the outcome).

The scribe (reorder or documentary) entries that review documentation which includes where the error or defect was found and makes sure such that every error or defect is assigned a severity level, category, and type. All the error/defect data is recorded on a software review form, including suggestions. The recorder completes the review results report.

Each member of the team acts as a reviewer, independent of other roles assigned. The reviewer role is responsible for detecting errors/defects within the work product. Reviewers find problems, suggest minor improvements (without solving the problem and retain professional demeanor toward the other members of the review team.

Advantages of Reviews

Some of the advantages of reviews are discussed as follows:

1.    Reviews improve the product quality by finding problems early in life cycle so that they are inexpensive to correct.

2.    While testing cannot test all possible paths, with reviews it is possible to follow all the execution paths in the code.

3.    Reviews help preventing defects from getting injected into the product under development as a result of feedback received during review of requirements and design documents.

4.    Reviews help in improving domain expertise.

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