RevYou – an environment in which to polish development skills and build quality products
In the previous article of the series we described the 360-degree feedback sessions that Selleo uses to foster their team spirit, increase collaboration and inspire individual co-workers to learn and grow both professionally and personally. This article is focused on a feedback mechanism which is meant to support developers in their efforts to master technical skills with which to create quality solutions.
RevYou is an internal online service aimed at improving technical development skills and thus increasing the quality of products built. Its core mechanism is based on technical peer feedback.
RevYou is a software tool for codebase peer reviews that works in a way similar to the Github comments feature, which enables the users to provide feedback on the code submitted by their peers – they can just review the deliverables or they can choose to comment on them as well. What makes the RevYou solution different from Github, however, is the fact that it helps to ensure the reviews are actually conducted. Accordingly, unlike with Github, submitting reviews is not optional. It is only comments that are provided at the feedback giver’s discretion.
RevYou keeps each new commit on a “to review list” until the whole commit has been thoroughly reviewed and/or commented on by at least one developer. Interestingly enough, RevYou “recognizes” that not every developer is an expert in all the domains of the technology stack used by the company. It is therefore possible for a given user to provide a partial review of a given commit, leaving other parts to be reviewed by the developers with more relevant expertise. Another interesting feature of RevYou is that it encourages users to jointly review commits from multiple projects. By contrast, at Github, it is quite common for developers to limit themselves to reviewing the commits meant for just one and the same project – the one they are working on themselves.
What advantages does RevYou offer to developers and their clients?
The benefits of using RevYou are multifold. The reviewer can learn about other technologies and solutions by investigating other programmers’ code, which is especially beneficial for cross-project knowledge transfers. What is more, when a developer submits a comment on a code contribution, they have an opportunity to spread some best practices and/or good techniques across their team or even across the whole company, which proves particularly useful when training junior programmers. Another advantage is better quality assurance (QA). If the codebase is thoroughly reviewed, poor solutions and malfunctions are more likely to be weeded out during the implementation process and the code quality on a given project is significantly enhanced. On top of that, since the codebase becomes more standardised, the code is easier to understand and maintain for other developers who may need to work on the same project in the future.