A Nightmare of CIOs’ (and a Dreamcatcher for It)
Is Code Quality Your Biggest Concern?
Code quality is often the biggest concern for Chief Information Officers when it comes to software development.
It is every CIOs dream that their teams write high-quality code. By high-quality, they mean lines of code that are:
- Easy to read & understand
- Consistent in formatting
- Minimal in bugs
Code Quality Should be the Priority from Day 1
Producing high-quality code means monitoring code quality from day one. That means CIOs must know how to strike the right balance between utilizing engineers’ time and maintaining code quality.
Adopt Continuous Integration & Deployment Framework to Get the Best Results
The best way to write code that is consistent in quality is to adopt Continuous Integration & Deployment methodology (CID). CID allows developers to be more responsive to clients’ needs, helping them get early feedback on new features released to production and do A/B testing.
Building the infrastructure to do continuous deployment and integrations isn’t always easy but given their significance in empowering teams to build quality code faster and continuously, you must incorporate this modern practice in your development model.
Once the requirements get finalized, tickets are generated for the features that need to be delivered and developers start writing the code, you should set up static code analyzers such as Sonar or Visual Studio Online.
Run Static Code/Source Code Analyzers
This is the first stage that every piece of code has to pass through to meet specific guidelines and conform to industry standards. Static code analyzers look for patterns in code, whether they are for code style, complexity or security vulnerabilities. Although it is a very basic technique to measure code complexity and verify compliance with coding standards, it proves to be highly effective in preventing defects from the early stages and accelerating the application delivery.
- coding standards
- duplicate code
- code coverage
- code complexity
- security vulnerabilities
Static Analysis Results Alone are Insufficient
Bad static analysis results mean there are serious issues with your code quality. On the other hand, good static analysis results alone do not mean that you should sit back, relax and be satisfied with your code quality.
Having Good Peer Review Practices in Place is Equally Important
Pull requests allow software developers to analyze and propose changes to the main codebase of a project that later can be deployed for all users to see. This methodology reduces conflicts, ensure continuous delivery and make peer reviews easier. Each developer gets the opportunity to make comments and ask questions before merging any piece of work to master. The pull requests need to be kept as small as possible so they can be reviewed quickly and merged without any hassle.
Every code that reaches the master is usable and production ready using this approach.
Spend Time Doing Unit Testing
A unit is the smallest possible testable software component which makes it easier to design, execute, record, and analyze test results for than larger chunks of code.
Proper unit testing is required during the development stage to create a fully functional, bug-free application. In a unit test, the testing framework plays the role of software code that runs the tested code. The framework calls the functions in the tested code and waits for responses from the code.
Although it takes a lot of time and effort to test the functionality of each line of code, unit testing is critical to successful software development and thus make it an integral part of every project delivery.
The tool that can be used to do unit testing depends on the tech stack you are working on. For example, if you are using .NET or Java, you can use Xunit to get comprehensive results.
Validate Results Using End to End Testing
With the help of a computer, End to End testing simulates real user scenarios, ensuring that all the modules of an application function as expected. The motive behind E2E testing is to identify system dependencies and ensure that the right information is passed between various system components.
Having end to end testing in place will give your developers the confidence that the entire application and not just the individual components works seamlessly from start to finish.
There are a lot of tools available in the market that allow you to do in-depth E2E testing. If you are looking for a free software that can accomplish the goal, you can try Selenium.
Have Weekly Expert Group Sessions
Have weekly sessions with your software development teams on emerging trends and technologies in the software industry. In every session, ask some of your team members to review a given piece of code from ongoing projects and suggest improvements and modifications. This helps ensure that quality is built into products from the beginning.
A combination of all the techniques mentioned above guarantees that all industry standards are met and there are minimal to absolutely no bugs that go into production.