Many of you have already seen announcements both on main and on meta announcing this site's graduation. At the request of a few of you who were skeptical (or perhaps merely in shocked disbelief), I'm here to confirm that yes, the Community Team has indeed decided that Code Review should graduate. Congratulations, Code Reviewers!

Over the past few years, you've built a community here that excels by pretty much every measure we look at sites with, and you've shown the willingness and ability to take action and get results in dealing with issues as they've arisen. The entire community has done a great job, and you should all be very proud of yourselves. We're certainly proud to have you as part of the network!

I hope you'll join me in giving your moderator team an extra round of virtual applause. Jamal, rolfl, 200_success and the pro-tems who came before them have done an incredible amount of work, both publicly and behind the scenes, in getting this site to where it is today.

What happens now?

Code Review has been added to the list of sites that the SE Design Team will be creating unique site designs for. Unfortunately, the list is long, so it may be several months before you see the first mockups.

In the meantime, this provides an opportunity to think about how to be an even better site as privilege thresholds increase, elections are held, and you continue to grow. As this community should understand better than most, no matter how good you are, there is always room for improvement.

In the interest of both reflecting and planning ahead, I'm posing a question to the community:

Is there anything you'd like to see Code Review Stack Exchange do better?

Weigh in by posting an answer below!

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    As I mentioned in the post, you have great mods on this site, and I thought they would enjoy getting to make the graduation announcement. I'm sorry for any confusion I caused by not posting about it myself initially. (At least it wasn't April 1!) – Pops Sep 30 '14 at 18:12
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    I have to say that 200_success' post on the main site was an utterly fantastic way to make the announcement; especially since the actual announcement was hidden in code, and beautifully leveraged the new stack snippets feature - thank you, community team, and [big round of virtual applause] to our moderators. I've said it before, I'll say it again: CR's blessed with a dream team of moderators! ...and thanks everyone for being part of this wonderful community! – Mathieu Guindon Oct 1 '14 at 15:37
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    I think that the top 50 users on Code Review should be given an unlimited amount of stars for chat everyday, we have earned it! – Malachi Oct 1 '14 at 19:03

10 Answers 10

I personally would like to see more reviewers drawn to this site. We almost always have a larger number of questions coming in than reviews, causing our unanswered count to increase over time. Fortunately, we don't have to have a question answered quickly (reviews, especially long ones, do take time). However, a short review is always encouraged, and could even be considered an "appetizer" for a larger review to come, whether by the same user or possibly another one.

Speaking of short reviews, we must also make it clear that short reviews are not discouraged. There are many long reviews around, so it's understandable that new users would assume that that's the kind of review they should come up with. It absolutely is not. In fact, if you've read enough reviews, you can notice that each regular reviewer has their own "style" of reviewing. That can help add more "personality" to the review, but again, it's not mandatory of any review. As long as the review is good and not too short (link-only especially), even if it's just a drive-by review, then it can really help us out.

We need to be better about pointing out what the OP of a question did right. Particularly if "the code looks good." It's an important part of a review that often gets overlooked. It's good for morale and stops questions containing impeccable code from zombifying.

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    +1 Really good point. It's very easy to be over-critical. – xDaevax Oct 9 '14 at 15:12
  • See my response below - add to it. – Keith Barrows Oct 31 '14 at 21:38

I don't know SEO, but make this site be included in the first few results of a Google search with query "review my code".


When posting on a site for the first time, there's really nothing worse than gaining the tumbleweed badge. This happened to me the first time I asked a question on Mathematics and it really didn't made me enthusiastic about returning to that site.

I would like to...

I would like to eliminate the tumbleweed badge. No new users should ever have to gain this dreadful badge!

To help with this I have of course created a query to check for possible tumbleweed candidates.

Even if it's just an upvote and/or a comment of the form "You have an interesting question here, I am personally not able to answer it but I do hope you will get an answer", any response is better than no response.

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    Nice Answer, This was the reason I stopped posting questions on SO. – Bhathiya Perera Sep 30 '14 at 22:59
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    Maybe it's because of the whole SEDE update timing, but one of the questions in the query has several answers. – RubberDuck Oct 1 '14 at 1:28
  • @RubberDuck not maybe, but most probably ;) – Vogel612 Oct 1 '14 at 7:48
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    @RubberDuck Yes, SEDE is only updated once every week. I am also not sure what the best WHERE statement is for the query, but I am on purpose selecting more possible candidates than necessary. – Simon Forsberg Oct 1 '14 at 7:58

I feel that when closing a question, even though there is a "This question has been put on hold"-message, adding a comment explaining a bit more about why the question was closed often helps a lot, and educates the user about what Code Review really is, and if the comment is written in a friendly way then I believe the probability is higher for the OP to return, and post a real Code Review question.

I'm using the auto comments script to not have to write more or less the same comment over and over again, and many of you have probably seen me write this:

Welcome to Code Review! I'm afraid this question does not match what this site is about. Code Review is about improving the cleanliness of existing, working code. Code Review is not the site to ask for help in fixing or changing what your code does. Once the code does what you want, we would love to help you do the same thing in a cleaner way!

This is a message that in a nutshell describes what Code Review is to many posters who ask an off-topic question. It is also written in a positive way, describing how much we really want to help them once their question is on-topic.

I would like to...

I would like to reduce the number of closed questions without comments. Preferably down to zero for all incoming questions. Be aware that the SEDE does not show deleted questions, so there are inevitably more questions than shown in the query. I also believe that users who has their question closed are not notified about this by the Stack Exchange system, which increases the need for a comment even more.

When the moderator tools for users with that privilege could be used for handling flags, I remember that the Community user automatically flagged questions that was closed without a comment. I believe that auto-flag exists for a reason and should be best handled by adding a comment to the specific question.

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    Thanks for the script link. I used to have simple textfiles for the different comments. – Heslacher Oct 1 '14 at 6:30
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    I would want this to be a site-wide setting, such that everyone will use it automatically. – skiwi Oct 1 '14 at 14:45
  • I suggest striking out "the cleanliness of". – 200_success Dec 10 '14 at 7:02

I'd like to see us do a better job of downvoting bad questions and answers. We tend to focus on generating upvotes. With graduation we will be getting at least a little more exposure. We need to be on our game when it comes to policing the site and guaranteeing quality content.

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    I agree with this. I think I have given the highest number of downvotes on this site, probably because I care about the quality that much. Graduation will only bring in more people, so possibly more crap. When we've said to increase voting on the site, that also included downvotes. Both are very important. – Jamal Oct 1 '14 at 4:00
  • most of my downvotes get removed by deletion.... – Malachi Oct 1 '14 at 13:19
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    I would add a but to this : But we should still stay friendly with new comers. I think it's a plus for us. – Marc-Andre Oct 1 '14 at 13:24
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    Yes @Marc-Andre! I absolutely agree. We should remain friendly! I personally try to keep an eye on things I downvote to see if changes are made. If the post is improved, I will often reverse my vote. Obviously, it's not always possible to keep track though. – RubberDuck Oct 1 '14 at 14:16
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    Downvoting answers is tougher here than on SO because a reviewer can give five pieces of great advice and then one that you disagree with. You can address that outlier in a comment, but should you hold off voting until it's addressed? What if they persist but you still vehemently disagree? Downvote? – David Harkness Oct 11 '14 at 23:07
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    @DavidHarkness, that's a good question. I figure you could downvote it for having anything bad information in it. Or you could just not vote on it at all, up or down. Personally, I would downvote an answer containing some bad information, no matter how helpful the rest of the answer is. – RubberDuck Oct 12 '14 at 11:36
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    @DavidHarkness That could be a good subject for another meta question, I sometimes wonder the same thing. – Simon Forsberg Oct 13 '14 at 12:57
  • i know this is a year old, but i think it's worth revisiting. if a professor at my university said, "to keep up the prestige of this university, we need to do a better job of failling out the bad students," i would say, "no, that would leave all the students feeling that we don't really have their back. what we need to do a better job at is working to bring all the students up to a satisfactory level of competence/performance, by giving helpful feedback. we're educators. remember?" – dbliss Oct 22 '15 at 6:10
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    put another way, if you show that you're good at failing people out, you're going to scare some good people away (and seem mean and unhelpful). if you show that you're good at raising people up, you're going to attract everyone (and seem awesome). for what it's worth, it is incredibly difficult to fail out of, e.g., yale. the support system there is incredible. (consider george w. bush.) in contrast, those off-shore, barely accredited med schools? they specialize in failing people (for all kinds of dumb reasons). so we see what strategy has worked in the university system. – dbliss Oct 22 '15 at 6:17

More of a Request than something that we could do better, I would like to see us all get a cool badge CodeReview Mug that participated in Public Beta and brought CodeReview back to life! (or at least those on like the first 3 pages of user {rep based})


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    I think this is a cool idea, except there's 46,000 of us... how do we deal with that? – rolfl Sep 30 '14 at 21:40
  • we have a couple of Active Member queries on SEDE we could figure out some metric to use I think. – Malachi Sep 30 '14 at 21:42
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    It is a little known thing, but the top X users on the site often get swag at graduation time. This seems like a somewhat fair and more practical award than a badge. – rolfl Sep 30 '14 at 21:52
  • @rolfl I agree with you there! – Malachi Sep 30 '14 at 22:33
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    I want a Code Review mug. – Morwenn Oct 1 '14 at 10:03
  • @Morwenn, me as well! – Malachi Oct 1 '14 at 13:17
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    I need a Code Review mug!! – Mathieu Guindon Oct 1 '14 at 17:11
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    Gimme the Mugz LOL :D – Bhathiya Perera Oct 1 '14 at 18:06
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    @JaDogg: I read meta but hardly participate (you seem to have it covered). But I feel I did my share of reviews for a mug. :-) – Martin York Oct 3 '14 at 12:53
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    How about 46000 mugs? Is there a problem with that? We could resell them, and buy – IEatBagels Oct 6 '14 at 15:37
  • A CR mug would be awesome.. – konijn Oct 13 '14 at 19:47

Listing "CodeReview" as part of the "This Question Belongs on Another StackExchange Site" flag at StackOverflow would be both appropriate for many questions there and promote this site to its natural audience.

Currently, the only way to signal the possibility of migration is to flag directly to moderator attention...and escalating "migrate this question" to that level seems like a bit of an impedance mismatch.

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    SO seems to have a history of sending over some questions to us, via cross-posting, that are still considered off-topic. This has happened enough to where they may possibly not have us as a migration target right away. It may not be very inconvenient, but SO has to learn what we expect. – Jamal Oct 16 '14 at 17:12
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    Cross posting may be a symptom of not understanding what is on-topic in general. – ben rudgers Oct 16 '14 at 20:43

Give Us a Domain

Here are some suggestions and prices (from a Go Daddy search):

Suggestion_1 Suggestion_2 Suggestion_3 Suggestion_4 Suggestion_5 Suggestion_6 Suggestion_7 Suggestion_8

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    You guys are going to have to run a lot of bake sales and car washes to make happen. – Pops Oct 1 '14 at 17:06
  • If you used .codes, it could just be or :) – Dan Lyons Oct 1 '14 at 17:07
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    @Pops we could start with some CR tees! ;) – Mathieu Guindon Oct 1 '14 at 17:09
  • @DanLyons nice suggestion, It's available too. I've updated the answer – Bhathiya Perera Oct 1 '14 at 17:23
  • 1 is available! – Anonymous Penguin Oct 1 '14 at 23:40
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    I would go for: see: – Martin York Oct 3 '14 at 13:04
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    Or the only sensible thing to do. :-) – Martin York Oct 3 '14 at 13:06
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    Or – Martin York Oct 3 '14 at 13:08
  • @LokiAstari turned it into wiki – Bhathiya Perera Oct 3 '14 at 13:09
  • Is posting domains we're looking at a good idea prior to buying them? – xDaevax Oct 9 '14 at 15:14
  • @xDaevax probably this is a community after all, But I'm no web guru. – Bhathiya Perera Oct 9 '14 at 15:27
  • 4 – TMH Oct 15 '14 at 12:13

I would like to see some indication, other than an upvote, that the code being reviewed is good/golden/immaculate/etc.

Yes, it would require some changes to the SE code stack. Maybe a super header on the thread with up/down icons for different things:

  • Good Code (+/-)
  • Clean Code (+/-)
  • Adheres to Pattern (+/-)
  • Passes my code review (+/-)


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    Upvotes on questions don't indicate good or bad code. They indicate interesting quality questions. Interesting idea though. – RubberDuck Oct 31 '14 at 21:57
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    I'm afraid this would make Code Review more of a contest. I don't think these different voting options would be a good idea. – Simon Forsberg Dec 13 '14 at 22:39

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