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Julien Delange Thursday, February 10, 2022

How Automated Code Reviews Can Help You Stay Compliant



Julien Delange, Founder and CEO

Julien is the CEO of Codiga. Before starting Codiga, Julien was a software engineer at Twitter and Amazon Web Services.

Julien has a PhD in computer science from Universite Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France.

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Taxes, death, compliance measures; life's inevitabilities! As much as we wish the life of a software engineer consisted of pure innovation and product building, there are a number of security measures you’ll be faced with when embarking on a career as a coder. Some are a once off audit while others require you to partake in a regular cadence. These rigorous audit procedures intend to “ensure that you manage your data in a way that protects your interests, and that protects the interest of your clients”. We’re living in a world where online data and security is top of mind always, and because of this, certain recurring compliance measures have been put in place to ensure that the online safety of all is being protected.

Code security is really important

These safety practices can be a headache, even for the more seasoned engineers. For the most part, they are largely focused on tracking how new tech products and developments are storing data, so it is vital that all engineers do their due diligence and incorporate practices into their routine that will keep them above board. The nature of software development means that businesses need to go the extra mile to ensure all practices they have relating to the storage of consumer data are compliant and secure, therefore it is vital that developers keep up. Compliance audits such as the ISO 27001, HIPPA and SOC-2 are designed to verify that your code is high quality, correct and does not contain any violations, security issues or vulnerabilities.

Such compliance measures vary depending on industry, but the good news is that Codiga has designed many features that can aid you at all stages of software development, even compliance audits.

Any developer will tell you that Code reviews are an integral part of their process, but how often and how you go about reviewing your code can save you a lot of time in the long run when it comes to passing compliance audits. Adding in more checks and balances to your code review process now is the answer to staying above board.

But, we’re living in the real world, and we get that code reviews are time consuming and often difficult to navigate and remain consistent, given team members working remotely or spread across different time zones. Outside of this, there’s the obvious point that code reviews historically are a very manual task, meaning a reviewer may miss key defects or issues because of simple human nature.

We know the last thing you want to think about is on top of your mile-long to-do list is to have compliance audits top of mind, but keep reading to see how Codiga’s Code Review tool can make staying on top of your security practices a breeze.

Meet Automated Code Reviews

We are all familiar with the painstakingly long code review process where your work is reviewed by a peer or superior before being properly deployed. Outside of how long and tedious this process is, we wanted to develop a tool that would help engineers help themselves when conducting code reviews. Real-time feedback on the code you write can be a game-changer for productivity, as well as helping you proactively get ahead of any issues that would hinder an compliance audit.

Codiga’s Code Review tool is designed to make your life easier, and provides instant feedback directly in your working environment. Let us first preface this by saying we are in no way saying that Code Review should replace your manual processes; think of this tool as an added layer of security that can give you peace of mind long-term. When using Code Review, our automated Code Review algorithm will detect defective code and highlight potential issues prior to you submitting it for manual review. The Code Review tool also ensures that your code is following coding guidelines and does not contain syntactic and semantic errors.

How can Code Review help me stay compliant?

Many code review best practices state that you should be reviewing no more than 400 lines of code during any given review to ensure you are not missing any mistakes. With our Code Review tool, there’s no need to wait for the work to build up before checking for accuracy. Code Review will give you instant feedback on the code you write as you write it, which means your projects will be consistent right from the beginning. Having this tool at your disposal means you can be sure that your work is accurate and safe as you continue to build it.

Regular code reviews should not be a last-minute thing you do to make sure the previous work you have completed is above board. At Codiga, we believe that code reviews are a marathon, not a race, and by regularly checking the accuracy and quality of your code in real time, you won’t be forced to spend hours making a lot of last minute changes before submitting for manual review. Our Code Review tool is also customizable, meaning you can set categories or rules that are specific to the tasks you are working on, meaning all automated code reviews conducted by Codiga can be tailored to your needs.

Having a smart tool that you can customize based on compliance-related criteria means that you and your team don’t need to waste time becoming an expert on each different type of audit. Code Review allows you to arm yourself with the right checks and balances to ensure every line of code you or your team creates is in keeping with various regulations.

How to get started with Code Review

We wanted to make using Code Review as easy as possible, that's why we made automating code reviews easy when using GitHub, GitLab and Bitbucket via the Codiga app. Once you have installed the app and given Codiga access, you can create a pull request to review code within existing repositories, or create a new project directly in the Codiga platform. To start using the Code Review tool, create a new branch in your repository. Then, once new code has been added to the existing repository, the code will be automatically reviewed. This means you can separately review many different branches before implementing the changes repository-wide.

Code Review supports 12+ languages and results in more consistent work, a better and more thorough review process, as well as giving you peace of mind that the code that you are creating is safe in keeping with security laws.

In Conclusion

The fact of the matter is that compliance may not be the most exciting part of any software developer's job, but it is an absolutely crucial one. With Code Review, you can keep up with quality control on your work directly in your working environment without having to navigate around multiple environments.

When you are consistently performing quality control on the work you create, you will be better able to detect any ongoing issues with quality or security, meaning you won't be left scrambling to fix larger issues that may cause a compliance flag down the line.

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