The Benefits of RPA Code Review
Have you finished your RPA project? Are you getting the results you expected? Absolutely. But is there still room for improvement? Of course; there always is!
Even though an RPA project is “complete”, that doesn’t mean that the RPA journey, or the work on a specific process is over. After the project is running and you are seeing results, the next step is to complete a Code Review. A Code review is the practice in which two or more RPA developers, not including the original author, come together to read the source code to improve its quality and achieve a series of goals.
The other RPA developers, or “reviewers”, oversee the following:
- Improving overall code quality
- Ensuring the code adheres to pre-defined coding standards
- Ensuring that the code is easy to maintain and is readable
- Ensuring that consistent exception handling standards are followed
To make the Code Review process smoother, any RPA Development Organization should have following already in place:
- Coding standard documents
- Check lists and a training program to make sure Developers are familiar with the standards
- Code Review procedures to ensure the cross pollination of best coding practices
- Code templates with common standardized code libraries
Also, an important note about the timing of a code review; Code reviews must be planned and executed sooner than later. If a Code Review is an afterthought and not planned out well in advance, there is a chance that it will be rushed into production and issues will have to be dealt with when the Bots are already in production, which of course has its consequences.
In addition to the above, for larger scale RPA programs, the Organization must also develop standards for QA Testing the Automation code.
- Testing teams must have a thorough understanding of the business process and the relevant PDD (Process Design Documents) and SDD (Solution Design Documents)
- Testing team must develop an exhaustive list of Test Use Cases or a Test plan
- Testing data for the Automations (this should be a part of the Test Plan)
- Learning from defects to tighten up the Testing procedures. Even the most comprehensive test plans will not be bullet proof and will require fine tuning of the testing procedure
We also advise our Clients on How to Automate the Testing of Automations. We will be discussing Code Reviews, Test Plans, and Automation of the Testing strategies in our upcoming white paper that will be published September of 2019.
In conclusion, the code review process benefits the code’s author, by assigning other developers to help catch mistakes and develop best coding practices. By having Developers do a code review of each other’s work, it’s a learning opportunity for all involved and leaves the client with an overall better and stronger code base.