Code review

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Peer review is an indispensable code verification and validation tool that also facilitates the development of robust, scalable and reusable code. Once a developer has completed a new release to his or her satisfaction, they should initiate code review with a designated peer. The assignment of peers can be very informal, especially when the new model has been confined to the domain of narrow expertise. It is considered beneficial to the quality of the algorithm to have a person less familiar with the methodology review and, time permitting, replicate the results of the newly shipped release. In the absence of a designated QA department, the only defense against inadvertent flaws in the code is the institution of a process that requires the algorithm’s author to fully explain the methodology and coding decisions behind it to “skeptical” colleague. Such colleague should understand the basic concepts but not be biased in any way towards accepting the result. Resources permitting, having more than one person review the code would strengthen the quality control process - but we have to be realistic about what we can expect of ourselves given more pressing time commitments.

Once the code has been review by a designated “tester”, it can be tagged as “production version” in the repository thus becoming an official release.