Code Review Clinic

Magnifying glass on computer
Photo by Agence Olloweb 

The Code Review Clinic will run on week 2 (8-12 November 2021) of the Research Software Camp: Beyond the Spreadsheet. There will be one session in the morning and one in the afternoon from Monday to Friday. Our aim is to allow first time/beginner coders to get general but targeted feedback on their code from an expert. 

Apply to the Code Review Clinic

Applications to the code review clinic at the Research Software Camp: Beyond the Spreadsheet are now open. Applications are now closed.

We welcome applications from first time / beginner coders mostly, but we'll be accepting applications from other levels of expertise too. Please apply for a slot at the code review clinic using this form [link coming soon]. 

In the form, you'll be asked to describe the code and project (if available) you want to submit for review. This is meant to be a welcoming space for beginner coders, and, as such, we welcome code at any stage of its development.

If selected, you'll be notified by email and asked to share your code with your reviewer. Please only share a snippet of your code, whether that's a short script or a couple of  functions / subroutines (a maximum of 400 lines of code). If the submitted piece of code is part of a larger project, it should ideally be representative of your general coding practices on that project.

Here are some tips on how to share your code with your reviewers: Useful tools to share your code from the Oxford Code Review NetworkDuring the clinic, you will have the opportunity to discuss that snippet with one of our volunteer reviewers.

The selection process will be based on the availability of volunteer reviewers and will be carried out on a first come, first serve basis. That is, if we only have one volunteer reviewer with expertise on C++, then we’ll select the first suitable C++ code submission. Please also note that we have a limit of 20 slots, 10 in the morning, and 10 in the afternoon.

Why submit your code

The clinic is not meant to be a formal discussion of an entire project, but rather an opportunity for both reviewers and code authors to have a conversation, exchange research software practices, and learn from each other’s experiences. 

Remember that software never comes out perfect, so think of a code review as someone proofreading your code. It’s good to have a fresh pair of eyes to look over it as they may find flaws you couldn’t have spotted yourself.

What to expect from the clinic

The code review clinic sessions are 30 mins informal meetings whereby a code author discusses their code with the reviewer (someone with extensive experience with coding and reviewing other people’s codes). 

A code review starts with the author of the code walking the reviewer through the code, explaining the details of the implementation. The reviewer(s) ask as many questions as they want until they feel they have a good understanding of the code. 

Our volunteers reviewers have a commitment to give critical but kind feedback. We ask both reviewers and code authors to follow the Research Software Camp Code of Conduct. 

The information on this page is based on the Oxford Code Review Network guidelines.

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