Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Informal reviews - the inexpensive way to get benefits

An informal review is always the best solution when you want to avoid too many corrections from the formal reviewers or to decrease the number of obvious mistakes you've done. And it is quite easy: you have to go to one of your team colleagues and kindly ask him to review your work. The informal reviews are also very useful for the junior software testers since their confidence and experience is low, so they need help from the experienced colleagues (especially senior testers or programmers) to quickly review their work and to identify the aspects which don't make sense, which need to be improved or better described, etc. .
The informal review is not a formal process, it may be documented if the reviewers consider it necessary (the material may be as informal as a computer listing or hand-written documentation), is the most inexpensive way to get benefits and the date and the time of the agenda for it will not be addressed in the project plan.

Depending of the nature of the review, the tester can ask the informal review also from a programmer and not only from someone within the testing team ( senior testers or technical leads are
especially recommended for this, because they have the requisite technical or business expertise).
If you are a programmer you should be performing informal code reviews or having a colleague developer perform an informal code review to catch some of the smaller mistakes that are commonly made. A number of techniques are available for doing this, for example, use a parameter or constant in the code as a switch to display all parameters and/or print them to a log file. Become aware of what causes errors in program code and how errors can be detected and prevented. Also, learn to make the functionality understandable by using adequate comments.
One more important thing for the informal reviewer : critically reading the work of another software tester/programmer enables you to become more able to identify, diagnose, and solve some of your own issues.


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nee said...

very nice explaination. thank you very much.