Flipping the narrative on tedious tasks

Whenever new code is committed to one of our GitHub repos, whether it’s a bug fix, a new feature, or a string change, it must first pass through code review. Reviews are a super important part of quality assurance, guaranteeing that at least two people tested a change to make sure that it works and the code makes sense. Without it, we’d likely end up with a spaghetti mess that only makes sense to the person who originally wrote it.

As a primarily volunteer organization, the work that gets prioritized by contributors is often the fun and sexy stuff like visual changes and exciting new features. Code reviews, however, are often boring and tedious — the opposite of fun! Sometimes they pile up, especially if the diffs are large. Important fixes get left behind because nobody wants to set aside the time to review these changes.

How do we fix this?

Last Tuesday we came up with the idea that we could set aside one day a week to prioritize reviews. And instead of it being a boring, tedious thing that you do by yourself, we’ll make it into a fun day where we all get together and land a whole bunch of code as a team. Thus was born, ReviewsDay Tuesday.

Now reviews are something to get excited about. We pass around links to branches and watch the number of open Pull Requests (PRs) go down throughout the day. We’re following up more consistently and staying more engaged. PRs no longer rot away, unreviewed and several conflicting commits behind master.

Get Involved

We’d love to pull your branches next Tuesday! If you’ve ever thought about getting involved with elementary OS development, be sure to check out the get involved page on our website. You’ll find quick links there to our bitesize and bountied bugs, which are great places to get started. If you’re curious about which PRs we still have to review or would like to lend your coding expertise, you can use this handy link.

We’d like to say thanks again to everyone who’s bought an app on AppCenter, our supporters on Bountysource and Patreon, and those who’ve purchased a copy of elementary OS or merch from our store. Every contribution helps make all of this possible, and we wouldn’t be here without you! If you’d like to help improve elementary OS, don’t hesitate to Get Involved!