Imagine if we didn’t judge the author of the code by how few “WTFs” it generated, but instead by how fertile it was for discussion? Or, imagine if every programmer was being judged by what they learned from the discussion. How would that change things? better still, imagine if the “manager’s” job was to facilitate the learning and get the discussion back on track when it strayed into fixing-the-code territory instead of to judge people by how much they “contribute.” That would be a breath of fresh air to most teams.
An excellent point. Code reviews are valuable for getting eyes on the code, but I agree with Raganwald here that the more valuable outcome is that everyone shares in the learning. I’ve thought of that as learning about the work that others are doing, but Raganwald makes a good point that you learn from the discussion about the work that others are doing.