in reply to How do you critique another person's code?
I made a comment about the code to my manager, and have now been called into a meeting with my manager, and the programmer's manager where I am expected to provide feedback on the script and what I think the problems are. If I were the programmer's supervisor, I would have no problem providing him direction (and rejecting the entire script.) However, how can I politely provide factual feedback without "attacking" the style of programming?
Your company isn't paying you to be polite. If the "style" of the code makes future
maintenance and upgrades difficult, that's something the company needs to know.
But you should make it clear what the purpose of your feedback is, ahead of the actual feedback. Remember that "purpose", "trust", and "respect" all go hand-in-hand: if one is missing or unclear, the rest will erode rapidly. So, make it clear that the purpose of your feedback is to reduce the risk to the company, and then remain true to that purpose. Within that purpose, the means by which the content is spoken matters little, as long as the purpose is clear and respected. Hidden agendas will undermine the process, so you must ensure that the cards are all face up on the table.
-- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker