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With the previous team I used to work with, we used to work on the same project at the time. Or at least we used to use the same platform/programming languages. Code review was almost daily routine and established procedure. However, when I joined my new team as a senior developer, there was no code review followed at all. One of things I was asked to introduce to the team, is code review.

The problem is, my current team works on different projects, mostly using different platforms and different programming languages. For example, these couple of weeks I'm writing in PL/SQL and doing some ORACLE APEX development. Another team member is developing a mobile App using some hybrid App platform (jQuery, JavaScript, CSS ... etc). A third one is setting up IVR/OVMS system that barely has any code written except for some basic MySQL DB. We rotate usually in future projects, so everybody will get to understand the platforms. But we do not work on the same platform at the same time.

I understand this way of distributing work is not really the best (It might be for this company, but I do not think I have the privilege to discuss this, at least not just yet). The problem is, When I assign code review to a team member in a language that he has not touched for couple of weeks (maybe months), it is very hard to comment or make any useful understanding of it. When I spent my whole day writing in Javascript, and at the end of the day I'm asked to review some complex logic in PL/SQL, it is really not an easy task.

So my question: Is there any methods followed in similar cases? How can I facilitate the process and make the best use of code review given the team work load?

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    If a team member falls ill, is there a designated backup person who is expected to be able to handle urgent issues with the code of the ill one? If so, then the designated backup should also be doing the reviews as a form of knowledge transfer/keeping up-to-date. – Bart van Ingen Schenau Sep 2 '15 at 13:45
  • @BartvanIngenSchenau Nothing agreed on, I think boss will choose someone to do the job based on what project has more priority. But in this case, the unexpected backup developer, will struggle and suffer delays. Never happened so far, but that how I see it. – Hawk Sep 3 '15 at 8:43
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It depends what you expect from a code review, and how you do it.

If the point of the code review is to find stupid things (like breaking naming and coding standard conventions), then find a tool to do it, and stop wasting time of your colleagues.

If you do proper code review, it shouldn't take long. Overly complex code should fail the review anyway.

And if you use a tool (codestriker or similar), then the reviewer can do it when they have time.

I guess you could even ask people from the previous team, if you are in the same company.

The point is to find someone, who can really help you improve the code. If you think someone is not going to be able to help - then just don't invite them.

The best is to talk to people in the team. See first if they want to do it. Talk to your boss, and see if you can get some time to do code review.

  • "See first if they want to do it." What if they don't want to do it? If this is something not done before and the OP has come in asking for extra work from people, there may be push back. – Burhan Ali Sep 3 '15 at 16:28
  • @BurhanAli If he has no support from team and team leader, he can forget about it. – BЈовић Sep 6 '15 at 19:44

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