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Code Review MUST Be Fast, Otherwise The Team Is Unhealthy

  • In the end, code review is a gatekeeper, so it has to be fast for the team to ship quickly.
    • This is especially true if you work for a high-performance tech company like FAANG or a hyper-growth startup.
  • If you're evaluating a team, definitely ask about what its code review culture and speed are like. Not only does faster code review lead to smoother shipping, it also enables faster learning.
  • It should take 1-2 days to get code review feedback, and even 2 days is pushing it.
  • What's important to realize is that a lot of pull requests will take multiple iterations to be finalized. Let's say it takes your teammates 3 days to leave feedback, and you need 3 revisions before your PR is perfect. This means that landing 1 PR took you over a week.
  • Have a focus block at the end of your day where you can review all open pull requests from your team to enable that 1 day turnaround.
  • Code review is inherently a more selfless act as it unlocks someone else. Doing lightning fast code review is an extremely powerful way to be a stellar teammate. Alex got to most reviews within 2 hours.
  • On the flip side, don't be too pushy asking teammates for code review. Wait for around a day at least before pinging them (unless it's an urgent PR).

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