David Lloyd

Software engineer at Red Hat

Areas of Expertise

Java, Quarkus

Recent Posts

10 tips for reviewing code you don’t like

10 tips for reviewing code you don’t like

As a frequent contributor to open source projects (both within and beyond Red Hat), I find one of the most common time-wasters is dealing with code reviews of my submitted code that are negative or obstructive and yet essentially subjective or argumentative in nature. I see this most often when submitting to projects where the maintainer doesn’t like the change, for whatever reason. In the best case, this kind of code review strategy can lead to time wasted in pointless debates; at worst, it actively discourages contribution and diversity in a project and creates an environment that is hostile and elitist.

A code review should be objective and concise and should deal in certainties whenever possible. It’s not a political or emotional argument; it’s a technical one, and the goal should always be to move forward and elevate the project and its participants.  A change submission should always be evaluated on the merits of the submission, not on one’s opinion of the submitter.

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