Yuya Fujimoto

Junior engineers should do more code reviews

June 21, 2022

Senior engineers tend to spend time reviewing more than junior engineers. I’ve seen this in many places. I think it is fairly common not only in our industry, but also other industries too. The more senior you are, the more time you spend taking care of other people.

Code review, as the name suggests, is a place to review code. It helps you prevent avoidable bugs from happening, and keep the code quality high so that you can maintain and improve well.

Because of that, it’s easy to create a narrative where code review is a place for senior engineers to find bugs, give advice, poke holes etc. The more senior you become, the more you review code.But I think junior engineers should do code reviews more than senior engineers. In my experience, I learn a lot when reviewing other people’s code more than when getting my code reviewed. You encounter new ideas, new approaches, and many things you don’t know or you haven’t thought about. Also you learn a lot when reading how other people review code. You see the new angle to read/understand the code.

Unfortunately, it is not very common for junior engineers to do many code reviews. Even worse, juniors tend to be afraid of code reviews. You may not understand what’s going on as a reviewer, you may get harsh comments as a reviewee. Even if no one has never leave harsh comments in your company, junior engineers would still think about it.

It’s on senior engineers to make code reviews more fun place. It’s a place to ask naive questions. A place to trade ideas. A place to learn together because you know what, no one knows everything. It’s harder to ask questions once the change is squashed. It’s worth it just to see what kind of changes are going in because that’s your chance as a junior engineer to ask what you don’t understand before it’s too late.

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