Code reviews play a major role in the software development lifecycle in order to identify and rectify code issues before it comes to production. The aim of the code review is that it should be high quality, maintainable and meet project requirements.

The goal of code review is to guarantee compliance of the contributed code with specific standards in terms of quality, supportability, security and so on. It also helps spot errors as well as improve performance by making sure that the code complies with an application’s architectural design and coding style.

Building a healthy culture around code reviews and pull requests involves fostering open communication, collaboration and constructive criticism. Instead of looking for faults through which we can learn from one another, grow together as one team. To foster a healthy culture around code reviews and pull requests, they must approach them with a positive mindset towards these processes. These things include:

  1. Set Clear Expectations: To explain the code review process, what to look into and how to provide feedback are the elements that can guide you when setting clear expectations.
  2. Foster a Culture of Learning: If one wants to foster a learning culture within a team, then members of this team should be motivated to communicate with each other, ask questions, share their experience. Also encourage Pair programming Set Pairs, Peer-to-peer teaching and coaching sessions.
  3. Use Positive Language: Also, instead of using negative terms when providing feedback encourage positive language. For example do not use negative language such as ‘this code was bad’, but use positive language instead such as ‘you can improve this code by doing X’. You should be specific in your recommendations for improvement and give examples that are tangible.
  4. Focus on the Code, not the Person: Therefore, it is essential to separate the person who wrote the code from the code itself. Critique on person coding fault rather than individual. Criticism should only be focused on the technical matters; thus avoid personal attack.
  5. Respect everyone’s Time: Be respectful of everyone's time and avoid making unnecessary comments. Focus on the most critical issues and provide actionable feedbacks.
  6. Follow Best Practices: Create best practices for pull requests including ensuring that documentation is complete and all requirements are met by tests. Finally, pull requests must be small in size and limited in scope according to best practice guidelines established for them
  7. Provide Feedback Quickly: Make sure the code is fixed before it is deployed by giving feedback as early as possible. Inadequate timely feedback can be a source of frustration and missed deadlines.

There are some best practices for pull requests including:

  1. Keep the pull requests small and focused: Instead of this, propose them in smaller and more focused ways that can be easier to review and merge.
  2. Write clear and descriptive commit messages: Use clear and descriptive commit messages to explain the changes you have made and provide reviewer context. Clear, concise summaries of the changes being made should be included along with any needed background or contextual information when making a pull request.
  3. Test your changes thoroughly: When making a pull request, make sure that there is enough testing completed on these changes before submitting it. What you can do is use automated tests as well as manual testing to ensure that all your modifications perform as expected. Make sure you have tested your changes thoroughly before creating a pull request, to verify they work as expected.
  4. Be responsive and open to feedback: This includes responding positively when reviewers offer suggestions or critique your work. With this approach in place, there will be high quality codes merged while meeting the required standards through addressing reviewers’ concerns promptly.
  5. Stay objective and constructive in your discussions: Stick to the code and its modifications, shun personal attacks or any arguments that may not be productive.

Ultimately, it’s necessary to have a culture that respects code reviews and pull requests in order to produce good quality coding, maintainability of the work and project relevance. For an effective code-review culture, make sure you know what you want to achieve, provide a learning atmosphere, use affirmative phrases, focus on actual codes only, respect everybody’s time, stick to modern-day protocols and give your views out quickly.