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I joined a small startup, and a senior software engineer colleague (we work on the same product) of mine never adds me the list of code reviewers. So far I’ve just simply not commented on the pull requests, but it’s odd since I was specifically brought on to improve the quality of the product. Would it be wise for me to continue my approach, to just review them anyway, or perhaps something else?

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  • Are you sure the senior engineer is aware of your "quality improvement" role?
    – Boots
    Jan 5, 2023 at 8:12
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    Have you tried asking the engineer if you can be included in their reviews? It would be more useful if you could provide information on what you've done so far and what the results were, as well as any other relevant information.
    – Stuart F
    Jan 5, 2023 at 13:30
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    Is there anything actually preventing you from reviewing these PRs (aside from the fact that you might not know they exist if you don't go looking for them)? Does your repo provide for the option to add "required" reviewers for PRs and do you have the necessary authority (both "socially" within the company and "technically" over the repo) to be able to make yourself a required reviewer?
    – brhans
    Jan 5, 2023 at 13:39
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    When I worked at a place with a similar code review system, the policy was that we needed to choose two people familiar with the associated part of the system, but anyone could still comment on any PR. If the comment is useful, it doesn't matter who makes it. Jan 6, 2023 at 22:21
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    Agree @user253751 "Brought on to improve the quality" means "This person will fix bugs while we work on new features" where I work
    – androidguy
    Jan 7, 2023 at 3:50

3 Answers 3

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It should be a simple enough matter to add you to the list of reviewers in Git so you automatically get included in the reviews.

The most appropriate answer to this of course depends on your development lifecycle process. In my organisation, we have several layers of development, the lower ones being sandbox environments for the developers to sort out exactly what they want to achieve. These pull requests don't need to be formally reviewed as they might not be what's presented to the end user. It's the deployment to the formal QA environment that carries the formal PR reviews.

It's at this stage I personally review the change logs, release notes, cross-validate these with the requirements and validate that the final PR relates to the change and nothing more.

So in your case, you need to understand the release cycle and request adding to the Git reviewers for the right environments. Additionally, propose a more formal way of validating individual pieces of work.

You may need to speak with your manager to get buy-in to implement a formal process. You might also need to ask them how to handle your your colleague who can't/wont add you to the list of Git reviewers (there might be a technical reason that your colleague can't do this).

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  • Agreed. If you're supposed to be reviewing and aren't being given the opportunity, ask management to remind the developers why they need to include you.
    – keshlam
    Jan 5, 2023 at 9:31
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What is a good way to approach a situation where my colleague never requests my code reviews?

Talk to your team lead or manager.

Tell them that you simply want to help the team in any way you can.

Ask them if they want you to do the code reviews because you were "specifically brought on to improve the quality of the product".

Would it be wise for me to continue my approach, to just review them anyway, or perhaps something else?

It would be wise to wait for a decision from your team lead or manager.

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Talk to your manager and let them know (kindly and calmly, not aggressively) that you have not been added to the list of reviewers, and ask (not tell) if that's just an oversight. If you're a recent hire, someone may have just forgotten to add you and it'll get done as soon as you remind them.

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