Code review is an essential component of any software development workflow. Once developers have finished writing a piece of code, it’s tremendously helpful to have other people look over and test the code, identifying any bugs or inefficiencies.
While the code review process is intensive and time-consuming by design, you can still make it faster and simpler with the right code review tools.
So what should PHP developers consider when getting a code review for their software?
Below, we’ll offer a complete PHP code review checklist so that you can cover all your bases.
The first step is to make sure that your PHP code is clean and readable so that both you and other developers can easily understand it.
Make sure to consider the following issues:
For a better and clearer answer to readability and cleanliness, try to be honest when making these questions to yourself or your team. Otherwise trying to create a fictional picture of the situation won't contribute towards a sustainable and resilient code in place.
Once you’ve handled the issue of basic readability, the next step is to optimize the speed, efficiency, and performance of your PHP code.
First, what you need to do is to take a step back and consider whether you’re “reinventing the wheel” unnecessarily.
Are there any classes or functions you’ve defined that could be accomplished with native PHP libraries instead?
In particular, examine your use of PHP data structures. Arrays are the only built-in PHP data structure, but they come with a variety of functions for traversing and manipulating them.
However, the PHP extension Ds introduces many powerful alternative data structures, such as vectors, deques, maps, sets, and more.
Beyond your use of data structures, also investigate whether the algorithms that use these data structures are as efficient as they could be.
Are you consuming more time or memory than you need to by using an inefficient algorithm?
Security is often overlooked during the development process since most programmers are primarily focused on building a working end product.
However, security is especially important for languages like PHP that are frequently used for web development, making them a high-profile target for attackers.
PHP code reviews should do a thorough check for common security vulnerabilities such as:
Scalability is the ability of a website or application to perform well under unexpectedly high loads or levels of traffic.
Your website's scalability and uptime should be an essential concern for your business. For example, a 63-minute outage on Amazon's website during its "Prime Day" sale cost the company an estimated $99 million.
Although the stakes may not be as high for your company, scalability issues are important for organizations of all sizes and industries.
Consider how the code would behave under periods of very high usage when conducting PHP code reviews.
For example, what would happen to your homepage if it goes viral and is hit with dozens of requests per second?
During a PHP code review, your code should be thoroughly tested to ensure that it’s ready for deployment.
The types of software testing you might use include:
Code reviews can be time- and labor-intensive, but your thorough efforts will be rewarded with high-quality PHP code.
By following the PHP code review checklist above, your software will be more comprehensible, performant, and secure, which will pay dividends for your business.
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