"LGTM", "NIT"? 10 acronyms used in code reviews, and their meaning

by Daniel Veihelmann, published on 10/28/2023
Latest update: 10/30/2023
Let's be honest, we programmers often tend to be lazy and like to abbreviate a lot of things. For developers without a ton of experience, this can sometimes be confusing. What does `LGTM`, `WIP` or `NIT` mean? 🤔

To help you make sense of such acronyms, here is a **list of acronyms often used in code review discussions**:

List of code-review acronyms

  • LGTM - Looks Good To Me. So this is actually a code review comment that you can be happy about 😉
  • NIT - Nitpicking, so the reviewer means to say that their comment is about something that is not super important.

    For example, the reviewer may point out that one statement in the code could be a tiny bit more concise. Whether or not you are expected to do something about a "NIT comment" depends on the company culture.

  • PTAL - Please Take A Look is a comment that asks someone (for example, the reviewer) to check out a specific change or discussion.
  • WIP - Work-In-Progress means that a task or implementation is not finished yet, so the current state may still contain rough edges or errors.
  • MR - Merge Request - a Merge Request can be created when a Git branch shall be merged into another branch. This allows to see the exact changes (diffs) that will be merged.
  • PR - Pull Request means that someones wants has a Git branch with code changes that shall be merged into another Git branch. Pull Requests (GitHub) and Merge Requests (GitLab) are the same concept.
  • ACK - Acknowledged, which in code review means "I agree with you"
  • NACK - Not Acknowledged, so the opposite of ACK, means that the commenter does not agree with an idea or suggestion.
  • DRY - Don't Repeat Yourself is a software design principle stating that copy-pasting code (or implementing similar concepts multiple times) should be avoided whenever possible.
  • KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid is a design principle for software. As the name implies, the main idea is to avoid complexity wherever possible when designing or implementing software systems.

I hope this list was helpful to understand your fellow developers

Happy coding!

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