Reviewer suggestion and assignment


The ultimate goal with the reviewer suggestions is to reduce code review response time. FlexReview also has additional goals to help improve the developer workflow:

  • Reduce the total number of reviewers needed for each code review, and therefore, reduce iteration time

  • Knowledge sharing - expand the suggested pool of reviewers when applicable

  • Ensure that the code owners requirement is satisfied, if a code owners file exist

Analyzing past data

When you enable FlexReview on a repository, it starts in read-only mode and indexes the past pull requests data to calculate the domain expertise score of each author and reviewer for various code paths. It also captures the team memberships of the developers, and reads the existing CODEOWNERS file.

Calculating the suggestions

For detailed understanding of the calculations, please refer to the calculations algorithm. FlexReview takes into account a few factors to identify the right reviewers:

  • Complexity of the code change - the complexity is calculated separately for each path in the given PR.

  • Domain expertise score - this is calculated based on the past data of the code reviews. A user can gain domain expertise both by authoring the code as well as reviewing it. Read the algorithm for a detailed explanation of this calculation. Domain expertise score is calculated both for the author and the reviewer.

  • Current review load of all valid reviewer candidates.

  • Availability (timezone, OOO).

  • Ownership defined in the CODEOWNERS file - the suggester service will choose the least amount of reviewers possible for each code change in order to satisfy the CODEOWNERS requirement if the file exists.

Based on these heuristics, reviewers are suggested for a pull request.

  • When the code complexity is high and the domain expertise of the author is low, a reviewer with high domain expertise will be chosen.

  • When the code complexity is low and the domain expertise of the author is high, the pool of reviewers is increased so that non-experts may also be chosen based on the current review load, ownership, and availability.

Reviewer Assignment

The reviewer assignment can be manual or automatic. In the case of manual reviewer assignment, a comment is posted with suggested reviewers and a detailed breakdown analysis of the suggestion.

In the case of automatic reviewer assignment, the suggested reviewers are automatically assigned to the PR at the time of suggestion. If GitHub assigns reviewers based on CODEOWNERS, FlexReview will replace the assigned reviewers based on the suggested reviewers.

Note that if you are using the default CODEOWNERS file path, then GitHub will automatically assign teams or specific reviewers. In this case, FlexReview can override the add or remove reviewers.

Last updated