What Is a Tech Review?

Technology Review, published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Institute for Research in Engineering and Science, covers science and technology with articles focused on emerging or new technologies and how they are commercialized, as well as reviews of their performance by businesses or organizations that focus on them. Readers include scientists, engineers, researchers, business executives and investors – as well as students at MIT and other universities who read it as well as its readers from outside.

Tech Review provides in-depth evaluations of technology products such as gadgets, hardware, and software. Articles highlight both pros and cons for each technology product to enable readers to make an informed buying decision. Furthermore, comparisons and roundups between similar tech products allow readers to compare features and functionality so they can select one which meets both their needs and budget requirements.

Technical Reviews are an opportunity for Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to collaborate to improve the quality of a work product such as software programs or documents. A technical review differs from software inspection or walkthrough in that it’s more formal and structured event. Most often managed or conducted by senior members of an organization’s technical staff; however, experts from outside may also participate.

Tech Spec Reviews are often conducted in person and feature both management and technical staff as well as users or customers. The role of the review leader is to administer the conduct of the meeting by keeping discussions focused on technical issues at hand and helping resolve outstanding problems; while the recorder records decisions made and actions taken throughout.

organizations need to identify a way of scaling this meeting that best fits them, whether that means holding multiple Tech Spec Reviews for Product Engineering and another for Infrastructure Engineering; or holding smaller meetings sharded by area, like holding separate Tech Spec Reviews by team member type for each. Such steps provide more targeted feedback to team members.

No matter if it takes place in person or via video conference, a successful tech review requires preparation and commitment from all participants. Everyone should understand its objectives as well as agree upon a role they will take part in the meeting. Recorders should take notes and capture decisions while decision makers provide technical guidance. Furthermore, it is crucial that we thank all reviewers for their time. These small gestures of good will will go a long way toward securing their assistance in future projects, and encourage those hesitant to participate to become active contributors during tech reviews. With proper planning, consistency and communication in place, tech reviews can become powerful tools for improving software quality while simultaneously decreasing support costs.

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