How much does code review cost?

How much does code review cost

Code reviews are quality control procedures used to find bugs and flaws in the code. Code review also checks for adherence to QA standards in terms of code readability, structure, logic, and style. But how much does code review cost? Let’s find out. 

Code reviews can speed up the process of finding common errors and lessen the amount of time spent later in the optimization process. Even though code review may seem like just another standard procedure, teams do much more than find errors. We will understand this through the advantages of code review followed by what are the code review costs. 

Also Read: Modifying Legacy Code? How to Avoid Breaking Functionality

What is code review?

Code review is a practice of systematic code examination to identify and repair vulnerabilities in the code. Teams come up with code review guidelines and goals. They align the work to these guidelines and goals to measure the progress timely. Also, these guidelines help any external organization to work on your code base.

The code review process focuses on program design consistency, code quality, comments, coding standards, duplicate statements, code optimization, memory leakage, buffer overflows, security, size violations, race condition, and potential flaws.

What are the advantages of code review?

From the above statement, it is clear that code review helps you to optimize your code and fix errors in any stage of your project. Here are some of the primary benefits of code review:

  • Compliance: Developers come from different educational and professional backgrounds, which affects how they code. Code reviews assist everyone in upholding the same standards if teams want to have a uniform coding style. 

This is crucial for open-source projects where numerous developers contribute code. Before submitting changes, the code is reviewed from a single lens, usually by a code review expert. 

Additionally, if you are working on an application that is being used or will be used globally, you may make sure that you abide by all local laws and regulations as well as the international laws and regulations.

  • Improved security: Code reviews increase security, particularly when code quality and security experts conduct a focused evaluation. The code review team can scan code for flaws and warn developers of potential threats. That is why getting your code reviewed early on in the project is crucial as the code expert can develop a coding policy that the developers can follow.
  • Discover bugs earlier: Developers can quickly identify and correct issues before customers even see them, as opposed to finding defects after a feature has been released and rushing to release a patch. By including unit tests earlier in the software development life cycle (SDLC), developers can work on fixes while still learning new things. 
  • Better performance: Through constant feedback in the code review phase the final code comes out clean and optimized through various code optimization techniques.
  • Project quality and requirements: Every project has clear criteria and scope. Every developer working on it creates distinctive features following specifications. Nevertheless, there’s a good probability that a developer will misinterpret a requirement and create an unnecessary feature. 

Code review helps in handling such situations since it compares the developed feature to the desired feature. This serves to validate the features that have been built. 

This makes sure that any misunderstandings about the scope or criteria are fixed as soon as possible. Additionally, this ensures that teams do not overlook important features.

Who can review my code and how much does code review costs?

The code should not be reviewed by the developer who wrote it. In fact, that would be contrary to the entire point of doing a code review as the objective is to examine the code from the outside to obtain a new perspective on it. 

While it might seem that there are multiple ways/people through which you can get your code reviewed, the fact is not all the ways are good. Let’s have a look at the two options of how you can get your code reviewed and their associated costs. 

You will understand why one of those two ways is actually the worst way to get it done.

Let’s discuss them one by one. 

1. Hiring a freelancer for code review

You might believe that you can hire a skilled independent freelancer for cheap to examine your code base and offer suggestions for improvements using websites like Upwork and Fiverr.

The fact is it is not a good way at all to get your code reviewed and we will explain the reasons below.

If you go through any of the common freelancing websites, you will instantly get shocked just looking at the exorbitant fee which freelancers quote.  A freelancer with significant expertise and a high success rate on Upwork can command rates in the range of $200 – 300 per hour for code review. 

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A professional-level, highly experienced freelancer on Fiverr, on the other hand, can ask for $2,000 for a small code base and as high as $4,500 for a large one. 

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If this seemed unreasonable to you already, then another important thing that you should know about how these gigs work is that it’s the freelancer who determines what is ‘small’ and ‘large’ for them.

Clearly, the biggest challenges in such engagements are usually wrapping your head around the pricing, determining the number of hours, and of ‘managing the expert’.

Here are some major cons of working with an individual:

● A single person will be working on the entire project. He/She will be the only person to review and provide feedback for the entire code base. Therefore, they may charge high depending on the project – and frankly, that doesn’t even make sense.

● It is difficult to connect and collaborate with freelancers when you have a complicated and highly technical task such as code review.

● Freelancers usually charge a big amount and work without an NDA. Therefore, companies do not prefer to expose their critical data to an individual. There is no means of paying such a big amount and working without a proper contract and NDA. 

● A jack of all trades is not always good. A single person will be working on the entire project. Their skill set doesn’t need to match your project tech stack. A fully functional project consists of different parts including DevOps, Backend, frontend, APIs, networking, and security. An individual can’t master all of the fields at once. 

It is clear that exposing your highly critical code base to an individual is not the right practice. Moreover, it makes no sense to pay such a big amount and risk your system. So who can review my code then? Hiring a code consulting agency is a recommended practice. 

2. Collaborating with a code quality expert team or organization

Instead of a code review consultant, you may collaborate with an organization for better outcomes. An organization will have a dedicated team for code review including experts from various fields. 

The code will go through new eyes in every phase. A dedicated project manager, developer, and security expert will be assigned to your code base for you to liaison with. 

For example, for all our code quality consulting projects at Wolf-Tech, we followed a phased approach which it is ensured that each part of your code and each feature runs past experts who have relevant experience in it.

Also, a company will have more standard compliance with laws and regulations compared to an individual. So, you can rest assured that your code base is in the right hands. Moreover, you can negotiate and agree on mutual code audit costs.   

The organization will ensure code readability, no bugs, security, and code quality.

Conclusion – How much does code review cost?

Code review contributes to ensuring consistency and error-free design and implementation of code. Identifying and fixing the bug in the early stage will help you save money in the long run and also, and it will create a sense of trust in your application among users. 

Code review costs vary from method to method. And there are multiple ways you can get your code reviewed. Although we will recommend going with a dedicated organization. A reputed organization with a team of experts may make your work simpler and more efficient. 

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