Automated vs. Manual Code Review

Written by
Alexander Jiménez

As technology advances, more companies are turning to automated code review tools. But are these the best option? Or are manual code reviews a better choice? This article will explore both opportunities and determine the best for your needs. Hop on!

Manual Code Review

What is Manual Code Review?

As the name says, manual code review involves having a human review of the code. It's in charge of someone familiar with coding, who reads through it line by line. Also, it can use tools to track changes and highlight changed areas since the last review.

How does Manual Code Review work?

The manual code review process begins with a developer identifying the code needs. For it, devs often select a representative sample of the codebase. With it, they can identify and address issues earlier and faster.

The next step is creating a plan. This stage includes which areas to check and methods to check the code. The process begins by going through the code line by line to identify potential errors. A keynote is that the reviewer must be familiar with coding standards and best practices. As a result, they're more likely to spot any violations of these standards while reviewing. Also, having a checklist of common errors or security risks is helpful.

After reviewing the code, the person in charge creates a report. In this document, they'll summarize their findings and recommendations for changes or improvements. Devs can use this report to make the needed changes to ensure quality and security.

Automated vs. Manual Code Review

Automated Code Review

What is Automated Code Review?

Automated code review concerns a machine reviewing code. In this scenario, the engine looks for potential errors and problems. Often, engineering teams appeal to this technique to test code quality. Here, the focus is on source code flaws that could result in vulnerabilities. Although human reviews can also do it, automated techniques tend to be more efficient.

How does Automated Code Review work?

Automated code review can be part of the development and quality assurance processes. In this process, a computer program handles the reviewing. It looks for inconsistencies, syntax errors, and also standards violations. The selected platforms apply rules to identify potential issues while reviewing. Then, it presents its results in bullet lists or graphic visualizations. With these, devs can detect several problems at the same time.

Which Tools Do Automated Code Review?

There are several automated code review tools. Some popular ones include


GitHub is better known for sharing computer code. Further, it often uses the Ruby programming language. Yet, it also manages software projects, bug reports, and code reviews.


A known Visual Studio Code extension is CodeRush. It gives productivity features for C# and Visual Basic developers. Also, it offers code completion, refactoring, code navigation, and more.


This software development tool helps to visualize and understand code. CodeScene can show code's organization, work, and relations with other code. It also assists in detecting hotspots and potential issues in codebases. This resource aims at teams looking to improve processes and speed up deliveries.

Automated vs. Manual Code Review

Automated vs. Manual Code Reviews

Manual reviews can be more accurate. A reason for it is human's ability to identify issues that tools might miss. Yet, on the downside, it's much slower and less consistent than its counterpart.

On the other hand, yes, automated reviews are faster. Plus, these can also identify both coding errors and security issues. But, computerized tools still have a long road to walk. At this moment, there's a possibility that its reviews throw false positives.

Which Code Review Method is Best?

The best approach for your project will depend on your specific needs and resources. Still, automated code review tools can be an excellent choice. This approach enhances projects requiring many code reviews or with a tight deadline. In contrast, manual reviews can be best for projects with more complex requirements. You can also try hybrid approaches by combining both methods' benefits. For instance, you can make a first review instance with automated systems. Then, a team member can look at any missteps the computer programs could miss. This procedure takes the best of both worlds to ensure quality and consistent code.


Code reviews are vital for software development. And as we saw, there are two main ways to conduct them. While manual reviews rely on humans, automated ones delegate tasks to specialized tools. Ultimately, the best approach will depend on specific needs, time, and resources. Yet, you can also try hybrid practices to have the ultimate combination!

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