Fostering Collaboration in Code Reviews: Balancing Technical Brilliance with Soft Skills

Aug 22, 2023 by manish

Have you ever come across engineers who are brilliant at code reviews but struggle with the soft skills needed for a productive and collaborative process? 🤔

I’ve noticed this quite a bit in my career. These engineers are incredibly talented technically, but when it comes to providing feedback, they can be quite aggressive and authoritative, especially when pointing out mistakes made by junior engineers.

If you are reviewing code or design as a senior technical leader, here is what you DONT need:

❌ A harsh and aggressive approach that only focuses on pointing out mistakes.
❌ An authoritative attitude that simply tells junior engineers what to do without explaining the reasoning behind it.
❌ Neglecting to appreciate the effort put in by junior engineers.
❌ Failing to provide constructive feedback in a respectful manner.

Here’s what you DO need:

✅ Take the time to explain the problem and the reasoning behind your suggestions.
✅ Find a balance between appreciation and constructive feedback.
✅ Be respectful and considerate when providing feedback.
✅ Create an environment where junior engineers feel like they are learning and growing.

Stop being overly critical and start being more supportive. Stop commanding and start collaborating. Stop missing out on the opportunity to mentor and guide others.

Remember, it’s not just about being right or wrong. It’s about how you communicate your point of view.

When you appreciate the effort put in by junior engineers and provide constructive feedback in a respectful manner, they will be more likely to come back to you for collaboration and guidance.