Peer review and follow up tasks

While reviewing a pull request you and your fellow peer reviewers will likely identify bugs adjacent to the code already being worked on.

“While testing this I noticed this other bug…”

“Hey, while you’re there I noticed this other thing…”

What is the appropriate response to this kind of peer review response?

Obviously you can just fix that bug right away. Unless the fix is really trivial this is often not the best idea. Mooshing an unrelated bug fix into your original pull request makes the change set bigger and less foccussed. That makes it harder for people to sign off on the pull request, slowing you down.

Instead, consider responding saying “that will be resolved in this separate issue” and provide a link to the issue in your bug/task tracking system. Go create a new issue if you need to. Invest the thirty seconds.

Get your original tightly focussed pull request merged then resolve the adjacent issue by getting a second tightly focussed pull request merged. The trivial amount of extra time spent raising an additional issue will be repaid many times over by having your pull requests move through peer review more rapidly.