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Improving Code Review Culture

A WiFi lantern to increase the speed of software delivery

One BI-Beacon customer was trying to get higher software quality by introducing code-reviews in the development team. However, they struggled in this process change, even though developers agreed it was a good practice to do code reviews. A couple of observations stood out when identifying the business issues at hand:

  • Code reviews were lagging behind schedule, causing delays in delivery for the rest of the organization and customers
  • Code reviewing was seen as something dull and boring, and less productive than “actual coding”

How BI-Beacon was used to embrace code reviews

By positioning a BI-Beacon by the coffee machine, just outside the developer room, everyone that went for a coffee got a clear indication of the state of code reviews.

This is what the colors indicated:

BI-Beacon yellow

Yellow meant there is some code to review.

BI-Beacon purple

Purple pulsing slowly meant some code had been waiting for review for more than four days. Get on with it already!

BI-Beacon green

Green color meant all code reviews are done – hurray!


By showing clearly the value of code reviews – no one missed the glowing light indicator by the coffee machine! – it was suddenly a lot easier to get code reviews happening. Developers also expressed that it was more fun to do code reviews, as it turned into a kind of game at the office, but also that it was clear that the whole organization valued code reviews and the increased quality it brings to software development.

The integration was done by regularly running a Python script that checked the state of issues being worked on by the development team.