A software review is a methodical examination of software carried out by one or more people who collaborate to examine the software, and its specifications, and attempt to identify and correct any potential flaws at an earlier stage of the software development life cycle. Review plays a significant role in the SDLC, assisting the software engineers in validating the software’s functionality, quality, and dependability, as well as other software’s supporting components. The process of validating the software requirements, design, functionality, test plans, test evaluation, and test cases is also known as software reviews. Reviews of software might be informal or formal.
- Formal Review: A formal review is one with established guidelines and specifications. It has to do with things like the development process’s maturity, legal or regulatory standards, or the demand for an audit trail.
- Informal Review: An informal review does not follow a formal, or written, approach. Several points during the early stages of development can benefit from this.
Formal Review Phases
A formal review has six steps, which are as follows:
- Planning: During the planning stage, a plan is created for the specific software review that takes into account several different elements, such as review criteria, role distribution, entry and exit criteria, etc.
- Kick-Off: The reviewers are given a brief introduction to the review objectives and materials during the kick-off phase. The necessary goals and procedures are given to the participants.
- Preparation: During the preparation phase, the review meeting is prepared by going over the materials and marking any errors or flaws.
- Review Meeting: Discussions in the review meeting phase involve noting various documents, outcomes, flaws, and remedies for those. Examining numerous actions such as evaluation, findings, and discussion.
- Rework: The team tries to remedy the defect(s) or faults during the rework phase by working on them again while keeping the updated results for the flaws.
- Follow-Up: During the follow-up phase, the moderator looks at numerous exit criteria and metrics to make sure that any problems, ideas for process improvement, and exchange requests have received the proper attention.
Software Reviews: Types
The following are some of the several types of software reviews:
- Guided Tour
An author of a document may give a step-by-step presentation known as a walkthrough to gather information and create a shared understanding of the document’s content. The meeting is led by the document’s author. A variety of scenarios have been utilized to validate the content.
The aim of the walkthrough evaluation:
- To distribute the document to stakeholders both inside and outside the software discipline to collect data on the subject it addresses.
- Ensure that everyone is on the same page with the paper.
- Examine and debate the solution’s reliability as well as any backup options.
- Describe and assess the substance of the document.
- Technical Review
During a technical review, a meeting is convened to go through the technical content of the document and how to reach a consensus. The inspection review is more formal than technical reviews. Its primary emphasis is on the technical idea and its accomplishment. When doing a technical review, a separate preparation is made to look through the hardware or software and identify any flaws. Technical know-how or a moderator serves as its leader.
- To what end technical analysis
- To ensure that the technical ideas are consistent
- To access the technical concepts’ value and its alternatives, to ensure that the technical concepts are accurate at an earlier stage of development
- Inspection Review
An inspection review is a kind of formal review that looks for flaws in a document by visually inspecting it. Since it is the most formal review style, it is always founded on a formalized process. Before the meeting, the moderator prepares and thoroughly reviews all of the documents. Then, using guidelines and a checklist, the documents are reviewed by being compared to the work, its sources, and other reference materials. Defects detected during a meeting are recorded, and any debate is tabled until the discussion phase. This procedure ensures that meetings run smoothly.
Inspection reviews aim to:
- As quickly as possible fix any flaws or imperfections.
- To establish a shared understanding among participants through information exchange.
- To assist the author in enhancing the document’s quality.
- To raise the product’s quality.
- Discover the flaws and learn from them so that we can enhance the procedure to stop the recurrence of comparable flaws.