You’ve already heard from me today, but I couldn’t not share this article from BBC News Principal Engineer James Donohue titled Looks Good To Me: Making code reviews better for remote-first teams.
This article provides an insightful view into the challenges faced by a development team that expanded its headcount rapidly, transitioned from in-person-only to all-remote, and didn’t have much in the way of intentional, documented process. The BBC team is also a great example of a development team sharing their experience and their expertise publicly, even while making significant structural changes and delivering valuable work.
While the analysis of the code review process is thorough and excellent, what I’m really latching onto is their concept of Charters; coming together as a team, openly and honestly analysing the way things are done, deciding where to cut or add or improve, and writing those decisions down. Not only does this align well with my perspective on “best practices” as a staring point rather than a goal, it describes quite accurately what I do in my Operations Diagnostics with clients.
It’s also nice to get a little validation that you’re not alone or crazy once in awhile.
The best ideas, patterns, processes, and practices don’t mean anything without buy-in from the ones expected to carry them out, and buy-in comes from collaboration, not commandments.
What charters could your team benefit from creating?