DevDiscuss S2E5: How to Harness Radical Candor in Code Reviews

Cover image for DevDiscuss S2E5: How to Harness Radical Candor in Code Reviews

Following up on my previous post Once more, with feeling: a radical approach to code review, I was a guest on the DevDiscuss podcast where we spoke about:

  • Why code reviews often don’t yield repeatable results or longterm education for reviewees
  • The Radical Candor feedback framework — what it is and why it should be implemented in code reviews
  • How to bring non-ruinous empathy into the code review process and not be a jerk.
    … and much more!

Listen wherever you get your podcasts (transcript included):

Once more, with feeling: A radical approach to code review

I was lucky to be in Dropbox’s headquarters when Kim Scott came to speak about her (then) new book “Radical Candor”. Dropbox was nice enough to hand out free copies (yay! free books!) so I actually ended up reading most of the book on the flight home.

Even though the book was written with managers in mind, I found myself referring back to it pretty often. Its insights proved quite useful in my daily work as a software engineer, especially in processes which require written or in person interaction with our co-workers. A little bit of Radical Candor can totally change how we do and react to code or design reviews, driving better results and higher satisfaction.

Radical Candor: Some Background

Before I share how you should use Radical Candor while creating software, it might be helpful to explain what Radical Candor is. I will try to keep this section as short as possible, since it’s just setting up the background for how to use Radical Candor in the context of software processes. If you’re already familiar with the framework you can just skip to the next section (titled Radical Code Review).

I have good reason for creating my own version of this, as you will see below.

Radical Candor is about giving guidance that’s kind and clear, specific and sincere

(source here).
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