Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

In undergraduate computer science classes, students are graded on whether their programs do what they’re supposed to.

In the real world, however, clear, concise code is as important as software performance. Large software projects can involve hundreds of programmers, and testing, revising, and updating software may require people to review code that they had no hand in writing.

So last fall, for the second year in a row, students in Charles E. Leiserson and Saman Amarasinghe’s Performance Engineering of Software Systems class had their code regularly reviewed by 20-odd volunteer programmers from the Boston area. After each of four class projects, roughly 70 students met with the professional programmers in pairs for code reviews of 60 to 90 minutes each.

Leiserson and Amarasinghe introduced the class three years ago, initially holding their own half-hour code reviews with individual students. “That killed us,” Leiserson says. “Even though we had a small class at the time, it was clearly not scalable.” So in the summer of 2009, they began recruiting seasoned programmers to mentor their students—and have had to turn away applicants each year. The professors believe theirs is the country’s first computer science class to incorporate code review with professional software engineers.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Credit: Patrick Gillooly

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me