Alan Page, Microsoft
Code reviews (including peer reviews, inspections and walkthroughs) are consistently recognized as an effective method of finding many types of software bugs early – yet many software teams struggle to get good value (or consistent results) from their code reviews. Furthermore, code reviews are mostly considered an activity tackled by developers, and not an activity that typically falls within the realm of the test team. Code reviews, however, are an activity that questions software code; and many testers who conduct code reviews question the software code differently than their peers in development.
This paper will present how a test team at Microsoft used code reviews as a method to improve code quality and more importantly as a learning process for the entire test team. The paper will also discuss how smart and consistent application of lightweight root cause analysis and the creation of code review checklists led the path to success – and how any team can use these principles to reach these same levels of success.