One of the most critical activities for a developer is reviewing code. Code review helps developers fix bugs before shipping, learn about the codebase, and pass along a team’s values to new (and longstanding) developers. To double down on these benefits, we’re releasing a new tool to facilitate communication between pull request reviewers and authors: PR Reviewer Status.
Until now, Bitbucket has only had one reviewer status: Approved. When a reviewer believes the code in the pull request can be safely merged, clicking the Approve button communicates that to the team. When using Merge Checks, an approval goes even further as it can be required before allowing a merge to happen at all. We’re adding a second status now, Changes Requested.
The Changes Requested status, like its inspiration “Needs Work” from Bitbucket Server, tells the author that the reviewer would like to see some change(s) made before Approval is granted. Ideally, a Changes Requested status will be accompanied by comments and tasks to clarify what the author can do to get the pull request approved.
A Changes Requested status will also block merges when configured to do so. Similar to the “All tasks resolved” merge check on Bitbucket Cloud, it allows the reviewer to work through their concerns before the code is merged and deployed.
By facilitating quick and easy collaboration between multiple developers writing and reviewing pull requests, the new Changes Requested status improves code quality.
A new place to find a PR's reviewers
While building this feature, we also made an update to the PR review design.
We moved the list of reviewers from the top of the pull request into the side column. Now we have enough space to show names and make the overall status of reviews a little more clear.
We’re proud of this feature and we have more in the works to keep improving it. We plan to support more teams and workflows by making code review more configurable and intuitive.