Any developer who is not consistent with things as simple as the naming conventions or documenting and defining functions is buying themselves a big headache, especially if they are working as part of a team (i.e. anything > 1). Imagine any dev team, each developer writing code with their own style; that would look like some Orcs trying to eat the last beefsteak in the Middle-earth.
When we write code, we need to make sure that any developer can understand it easily: tomorrow or in the distant future when you might not be around.
Thankfully, we have our secret weapon — the Coding Standards.
Why is code quality important ?
We are in a competitive software race right now with a developer working against time and CXOs working under tight budgets. But developers, who are the think tanks of a tech team responsible for bringing out new features to the software, end up spending an average of 5 hours per week just reviewing codes. These facts state a certain point that CXOs ignore the basic building block of software, Code Quality. Having quality code is as essential as having functional software.
Code quality measures of how well can code communicate between developers. Similar software may have an evident difference in code from developer to developer, but what matters most is that the quality of code remains the same throughout. A quality code is one that is clear, simple, well tested, bug-free, refactored, documented, and performant. But the primary measure of high-quality code in compliance with the specification that depends on the needs of the company.
Code quality is not a new parameter for code, and in fact, it has been in talks since 1970. It has become a necessity now to focus more on the quality of code that around 90% of businesses use code review tools for improving code quality. Measuring the quality of code, on the other hand, can be complicated as parameters change in accordance to the company’s demand, so there is no one way to measure it. Key metrics to measure the quality of code are reliability, maintainability, testability, portability, and reusability. We would see below what importance these parameters play in developing/writing quality code.
Poor Code Quality Software Dies Early
Though code quality is one of the essential measures while developing software, it is ignored many times. This leads to the development of poor software quality. Such software may function similar to software with proper coding standards, but with time it’ll become obsolete and result in substantial technical debt.
According to the State of Code Review, a leading argument on why a developer ignores the quality of code is due to workload. More than 40% of developers feel that workload and deadlines to complete a project in a given time make them ignore basic quality standards while developing software. Another reason for ignoring any code review activity is because code reviews are time-consuming and tedious to perform.
Tools make it easier to improve the quality of code, but there is a lack of such tools that can be comprehensive, effective, and also budget-friendly. CXOs are equally responsible for ignoring code review practices as most of the executives fail to maintain a quality standard across team members. Lack of human resources and the location of team members are another leading obstacle in the code review process that CXOs fail to tackle. As a result, a poor quality coded program gets developed, which has a small lifetime and is set to face many problems as soon as changes are required.
Importance of Code Quality ?
So far, we have found out what is code quality and how it gets ignored, which brings us to, why is it important? Is it that important to be considered during all software development routines? Yes, it is, and we see 5 points stating why.
Making software robust
End-users feel very uncomfortable if they receive a strange message when they do something wrong in software. Here is when robustness comes to play. The software can cope with errors during execution in spite of unusual conditions. High-quality software has clear and understandable error messages for end users.
Increasing readability and ease of editing
Good quality of code makes sure that codes are written in such a way that makes them highly readable. The use of comments, proper indentation, clear notations, and simplicity in the flow are some factors. Editing code is also a more comfortable job with high-quality code as they are easy to read and implement changes. Communication of code is more straightforward and hence also promotes inter-team learning.
Making program sustainable
Software is said to be sustainable when it can survive over time with minimal changes. An average software life is accounted to be around six years, but poor software quality does not last even half of this time duration. It’s because, with the constant development of operating programs and hardware, change in software escalates. It’s challenging and sometimes impossible to perform transformations on the poor quality of code.
Promotes easy transfer-ability
As discussed above, a high-quality code has high readability and is easy to edit. Another added importance is that code quality practices make the translation of software across platforms straightforward. With numerous platforms for software to work on, it is essential to have direct transferability with minimal changes required.
Decreasing technical debt
Software development is itself a high budgeted job with expectations of software to work as long as it can, with minimum error. But software with poor quality is set to fail early unless a significant number of changes are brought into the program repeatedly and hence increasing the technical debt. The extra development work is time and capital consuming, which a high-quality code avoids.
Getting most out of your code using CodeGrip
Code Quality is a difficult parameter to maintain, and various companies use methods that are either time consuming or require a great workforce. Regarding who gets to review code, everyone in the team is the most common practice, with 66% of companies doing it, which is highly inefficient. The only answer to maintaining a quality standard is using a supporting tool that does the job for you.
But as discussed earlier, tools that help improving quality are either complicated, non-comprehensive, or way too costly. CodeGrip eliminates this problem by becoming the one-stop tool for all code quality measures. CodeGrip lets you import your repositories from Github and Bitbucket. Which it analyses and translates into a summary displaying errors and estimated time to resolve it.
CodeGrip also shows error locations and suggestions to fix it, making it easier and faster to solve for a developer. It can track out duplication in a program and notify what percentage of code lines are duplicated. We can figure out the number of duplicated blocks and remove those blocks easily.
With critical metrics like duplication percentage, number of errors, suggestive error, error resolution time, and many more displayed for all types of languages, CodeGrip makes sure that every software has excellent quality of code.
Code quality is the most crucial factor in the long term success of a software. Make use of automated code review tools to help you maintain your software quality. Try to incorporate better coding standards across your team and company.