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iManage: Reviewing Code Earlier to Improve Code Quality

Scott LomondScott Lomond
December 17, 2019


iManage is a leading provider of work product management solutions for law firms, corporate legal departments, and other professional services firms such as accounting and financial services companies. iManage helps these firms serve their clients more effectively by improving productivity and governance throughout the creation, sharing, and security of work product. iManage is trusted by over 3,000 professional services organizations and one million professionals worldwide.

The Challenge

Engineering managers on the iManage Collaboration Project Team were seeking options for improving code quality and team productivity. One idea was to find a way to review code and provide feedback earlier in the development process, so they could find and fix small issues before they grow into larger problems. Traditional code review based on PR comments is cumbersome and not well suited for this lightweight approach.  

How the iManage Collaboration Project Team Uses CodeStream:

  • Each developer on the team pushes his or her feature branch daily, and the team leads use CodeStream to highlight specific areas for discussion and leave feedback alongside the code so they can work on it the following day. 
  • This feedback is highly contextual - viewable alongside the code in the developers’ IDE much like a comment in a Google doc, so it’s easy to identify sections of the code that need work and read the reviewer’s suggestions for making improvements. 
  • The team is now reviewing code earlier and catching issues sooner, rather than waiting to the end of a cycle when there is more resistance to major rework that could impact the schedule. This results in better code quality and less technical debt.
  • Once issues are resolved, CodeStream makes it easy to manage the information that came from the feedback process. The team can simply resolve comments that are no longer relevant to free up screen real estate or choose to leave comments permanently linked to the code if they believe they will be valuable over time. 

The Bottom Line

“We were looking for a simple and intuitive way to supplement our code review process with earlier feedback for our developers. CodeStream makes it easy to identify problems and leave clear suggestions and instructions alongside the code in the IDE. CodeStream doesn’t replace your formal code review process, but it does make it faster and easier. Our code quality has definitely benefited from using CodeStream in our workflow.”    

            - Arvind Agarwal, Head of Engineering, iManage Collaboration Project Team


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