What Are Four Types of Code Reviews?

man working on his code

Coding is a well-respected, fully-fledged, and promising field. Many breakthroughs over the years have truly revolutionized the future of computer programming, and, with them, have come new exciting trends and practices. Most of those also disappear after a while to be replaced by more refined coding methods. Yet, a handful of practices possess an unimpeachable position in coding. To that effect, though the code review process fails to work on a one-size-fits-all approach, it’s surely one of the most important ones in our chain of command.  

In this article, we’ll dig deeper into the different types of code reviews, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. By the end, you’ll have moved forward with code review best practices for a better understanding of how to choose the right approach for your team and your project. 

Code Review Types 

Several common types of code reviews can improve the quality and efficiency of your codebase. We’re focusing on four popular types of code reviews along with tips on how to implement code review best practices for each.   

#1 Pair Programming 

Pair programming is one of the most commonly used coding methods. It allows far more productive collaboration with team members as this method generally requires two developers or teams working together on the same project.  

In this common scenario, one coder will assume the role of the “driver” while another is the “navigator”. In this structure, the driver writes the code while the navigator carefully reviews it. This type of process benefits both programmers, as it can lead to improved code quality and fewer errors.  

What are pair programming benefits and drawbacks? 


  • Pair programming can lead to improved code quality and fewer errors as the two developers can catch each other’s mistakes in real-time. 
  • This method heavily relies on time management strategies and intensive collaboration, which provides programmers with an opportunity to learn from each other and improve their productivity.  


  • Pair programming can be an expensive solution, as it requires two experienced developers to work simultaneously on the same task. However, teams can also invest in code review tools to address some of the issues associated with pair programming. 
  • Pair programming requires an effective and easy-to-access communication channel and mutual trust between the two developers. If communication breaks down or one developer isn’t fully engaged, the process can be disrupted. 

#2 Over-the-shoulder Code Review 

Over-the-shoulder (OTS) code review is a pro solution. Like most OTS practices, it requires one highly experienced programmer to review the code of a less experienced one, analyze common mistakes, provide constructive feedback, and gradually help them improve the quality of their code.  

What Are Over-the-shoulder Code Review Pros and Cons? 


  • OTS code review is essentially a training program. It offers junior developers the opportunity to grow their skills through hands-on experience and learning from the best. 
  • This method can increase the difficulty of the projects, ensuring higher-quality code with fewer bugs. 
  • OTS code review also helps improve communication and teamwork skills for both junior and senior developers. 


  • OTS code review can be extremely time-consuming. It may not be suitable for a project that needs to be completed very quickly. 
  • It requires patience, strong communication, and interpersonal skills. It might not be a great fit for everyone in that sense. 

#3 Pull Requests 

The next type on our list is the “pull request code review”, which essentially refers to what the name suggests. Working with this method commonly means a senior programmer conducts an in-depth analysis of the codebase to propose improvement measures. Pull requests may also incorporate automated code review tools to help developers catch errors, bugs, and security vulnerabilities. 

What Are Advantages and Disadvantages to Pull Requests? 


  • One benefit of this method is that it doesn’t require real-time, synchronous collaboration. Everyone can work at their own pace and convenience.  
  • Another advantage of asynchronous projects is that developers have more time to analyze each line, resulting in a higher-quality codebase. 


  • Pull requests typically take time and require patience. 
  • This method also requires active communication. This type of code review is recommended more heavily for teams that have already worked on remote collaborative projects. 

#4 Formal Reviews  

The last type of code review we’ll discuss is the formal one. This method involves a structured and thorough examination of the codebase to identify potential errors. Formal reviews typically follow a set of established guidelines and require the involvement of multiple reviewers. 

What Are Formal Reviews’ Pros and Cons? 


  • Formal reviews have a structured approach and adhere to established principles, making them popular for quality code. 
  • This type of review is useful to identify potential errors and improve the overall codebase. 


  • Formal reviews are typically more time-consuming and resource-intensive than the other methods mentioned. 
  • Because of its formal structure, this approach may not be as flexible as other methods and may require more preparation and planning.  

Are You Ready to Seize These Code Review Benefits? 

As we know, code review isn’t the easiest job on the planet. It requires patience, lots of attention, experience, and devotion to deliver high-quality code. Yet, it does offer exceptional benefits, such as reducing the number of bugs and improving the overall quality of the codebase. 

Collaboration and feedback are key components of the code review process, as they help to identify and address issues more effectively. 

Moreover, becoming a professional coder calls on continuous learning, an open mind, and being part of a community of expert programmers for constant growth and development. 

Interested in Software Development? 

If reading on these topics you feel naturally called to pursuing a career in coding, please check our open positions.  Nearsure provides an excellent platform with a community of over 20,000 developers who can offer valuable support and networking opportunities. We also offer training programs and other resources to help our talent develop their skills and stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends.