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Code quality in custom software development: Its importance, best practices, and benefits

Code quality in custom software development: Its importance, best practices, and benefits

  • Last Updated on November 22, 2022
  • 14 min read

Businesses throughout the globe thrive on technology to drive competitive advantage. They rely on custom software development that is easy to use to ensure productivity and growth.

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With $491 billion in spending on enterprise software, the demand is ever-increasing. This leads us to question the quality of the custom software development.

You may question why code quality is important. Good and successful software relies on the coding standard in software development. For this, you need to search for the finest software development company that can help you with developing quality coding.

Rolling out quality software and code is not simple. You need to consider the code quality for custom software development. Providing good code quality ensures that it is highly readable with adequate indentation, has efficient usage of comments, and is driven by simplicity to offer easy code editing.

High-quality coding improves data portability and lowers overall development costs, making software systems more resilient and long-lasting. If you are not confident about presenting such a code, you prefer hiring experts.

Alternatively, Outsourcing software development offers you quick access to these experts who ensure quality code at each phase of software development.

Since code quality is a fundamental part of every software application. let us first understand what it actually is.

Let’s begin with the basics of coding in custom software development.

What is code quality?

Code quality is a set of requirements and characteristics that have been standardized and put in order of importance by the organization. You can consider the functions, language, and coding standards when judging the code quality. Depending on your organization's unique business emphasis and your team's demands, these may differ.

A good quality code offers better security and keeps users off the data risk since it is well organized and tested, making it more reliable.

The "code quality" is common among software engineers since maintaining it is vital to the software development process. The efficacy of developer-to-developer communication is reflected in measurements of code quality.

Two developers working on the same piece of software might produce code that looks quite different from one another but can still keep the code quality consistent. A code quality may be considered high for an automotive developer, but a full-stack developer may need different standards.

There is no one-size-fits-all checklist for writing quality code, several characteristics distinguish excellent code from bad code.

A quality code would include the following:

  • Compatibility– The ability of software to operate on all of the devices and operating systems it is designed to support.
  • Documentation– Source code documentation is created continuously during the project to ensure it is complete and up-to-date.
  • Maintainability– This refers to the ease with which software can be maintained, corrected, or improved.
  • Optimization– An optimized code structure ensures that the code isn't unnecessarily difficult or cumbersome.
  • Readability– Clearness of the code and its structure are made obvious by following coding conventions such as standard indentation and style.
  • Security– Quality code for software development requires regular scanning for vulnerabilities, such as malicious code, to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Understandability– Increased time efficiency by making the code more understandable for new developers.

Low-quality source code is

  • Written in a convoluted format that serves no purpose.
  • A challenge for programmers to grasp
  • Difficult and costly to maintain in a longer run
  • Bound to create problems with multiple devices and operating systems compatibility
  • Full of vulnerability and is easy to exploit
  • Hard to get control on.

It's an investment in the success of your project, not a chore to be dragged out. It's a key component in reducing technical debt. A well-written code is simple to comprehend, update, and expand.

Evaluating code that is understandable and consistent is simpler, reducing the time it takes to maintain it. Software maintenance department can help accomplish this task.

What are coding standards?

A programming language's coding standards are the set of rules that govern how the language is used. They aid in specifying the design, techniques, and processes involved. Many different components of the software or those written in that language may be eligible for consideration.

A code for custom software development remains incomplete without adherence to these guidelines.

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Coding standards ensure that all developers operate on the project uniformly based on the criteria that assist them in adhering to a certain strategy. Therefore, these coding standards assure uniformity throughout all coding projects.

The goal of every coding project is to ensure that, once done, it seems to have been created by a single programmer or developer.

Read More: Get a bug-free custom software with our best quality assurance services

Reasons for coding standards

Not following the coding standards in software engineering may lead you to experience some of the negative repercussions in the long term. It will take a closer look at some of the most pressing issues. Here are some of the reasons to consider following the coding standards.

Security issues

The code may be vulnerable to attack from outside sources, or faults may surface owing to a lack of coding quality if standards are not maintained.

Performance

The quality of the code may be harmed by shoddy coding. The result is a poor user experience and the ability to easily identify issues with the security and functionality of the system.

Readability & optimization

It's better to use less time and resources by writing code that is easy to comprehend for developers rather than wasting time and resources trying to optimize it. Create a separate module with the QA team and ensure 100% test coverage for optimization.

Prioritize architecture

People typically rush through tasks since they don't have enough time to plan. However, 9 out of 10 of these situations end in disaster. It's a sloppy job to start writing code before you've thought through the architecture.

You should know what the code does, how it is used, the structure, how it is tested, and how to debug and update it before you start.

Importance of code quality

There are reasons why code quality is important for custom software development. The success of software depends on good code quality. It's the most significant KPI for measuring the software project's effectiveness.

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Maintaining code quality needs consistent efforts and a dedicated software development team to satisfy quality objectives. This is crucial for a software project, yet developers frequently sacrifice quality when pressed faster development and delivery.

While it may be tempting to cut corners to meet a tight deadline, writing a code that satisfies the highest standards of code quality is crucial. It is what can make your code stand the test of time during the stringent use of the software.

Automated code checking tools scan source code against a set of accepted best practices to indicate possible improvement areas. But, this is one of the many methods to enhance code quality.

It is impossible to overlook the role of quality code in custom software development. Businesses spend fortunes on bug fixes and security enhancements. Here are some of the benefits and importance of quality code that businesses look to tap.

Making software robust

When a user makes a mistake in the program, they get an odd message, which compels them to act—here is where the software’s robustness comes into play. Even in the face of exceptional circumstances, the program can handle mistakes during operation. Error messages in high-quality software are easy to decipher for the end user.

Increasing readability and ease of editing

Code of excellent quality is written in a manner that is easy to understand. Comments, correct indentation, specific notations, and a logical flow are some key aspects of best practices in the writing quality process. High-quality code is also easier to edit since it is easier to understand and apply changes.

Sustainable software

You can call the software sustainable if it can endure tough scenarios throughout time with little modifications. The typical lifespan of software is estimated to be six years, although low-quality software does not even live half that long.

Due to the ongoing evolution of operating systems and hardware, software amendments are necessary. Poor-quality code makes it difficult and often impossible to conduct transformations as opposed to smooth functioning for years with a good quality code.

Easy transferability

As previously said, well-written code is easier to understand and maintain. Code quality measures also make the translation of software across different platforms easier. A good quality code for the custom software development ensures easy software migration across different platforms by making minor modifications.

How to maintain code quality?

A code is said to be "maintainable" if it is easy to add and remove features. Maintaining low-quality code might take longer than usual. It can also waste a lot of time and resources in waiting for it to improve.

The code quality is directly proportional to your business image and overall cost. In contrast to style Guides and Linters, functional quality tests determine whether or not your code truly works. This easy-to-follow pyramid demonstrates best approach to the test procedure and where to focus on the code quality assurance.

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Let's take a quick look at the factors that help maintain quality code for custom software development.

  • Add comments to every method, function, and piece of logic implemented.
  • Using the correct data types and names for variables, classes, and other data elements.
  • Ensure using the right code style and language.
  • Implementing automated testing as a prerequisite guarantees software satisfies all criteria and responds to its different inputs.
  • Accomplish the goal of reducing a class's complexity by refactoring and selecting the proper design pattern.
  • Try repurposing the general-purpose code.

One of the best practices that ensure quality code is to run a unit test. It allows examining a single piece of software by simulating the behavior of external dependencies. End-to-end testing examines the whole client-server cycle, while integration testing examines how various components function together.

Unit and integration tests may be carried out using the following tools:

Key tools to use when performing unit and integration tests:

How the code quality can impact your custom software development

In addition to increasing size and complexity, software programs are always evolving. There are various ways to express complexity. For instance, they may occur because of poorly written code, while other complexities are essential to the app's usefulness.

There are many reasons why software complexity is important to businesses

  • Software procedures can handle the complexity of a problem domain. Not all this intricacy is annihilated. Problems are always more difficult to fix with software than with the product itself (although well-built software hides this fact).
  • By growing its complexity, a product may accommodate an ever-increasing number of use cases (often during deployment). Concealing or altering features using a code depends on their relevance to various industry categories, firms, or people, thereby expanding your product's market scope.
  • High criteria for usability, readability, observability, robustness, and aesthetics are hallmarks of high-quality software code. All of these factors need more code, which raises the bar for the overall system's difficulty.

Now, coming back to complexity, let us understand how a code's complexity can impact the software.

Good complexity

It is a complexity that provides value or enhances competitive advantage, making your software highly sophisticated and stands out amongst the rest.

Bad complexity

It is defined as a level of code complexity that makes it difficult to read, maintain, and extend. The complexity of software is a crucial factor in its failure. The software's purpose and design require a certain level of complexity but, in a good way, as mentioned earlier.

When programmers or their managers make implementation errors, bad complexity emerges as an unintended consequence. The poor complexity to excellent complexity ratio is an effective metric for evaluating the quality of a piece of code. A high ratio of "high-quality code" is, therefore, necessary for the success of software.

  1. The primary advantage of a good quality code, even if it has (good) complexity, ensures keeping the long-term development and maintenance expenses low.

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Code quality significantly impacts the time it takes to complete a project that lasts more than a few weeks. A badly written code for software on which the business relies heavily can affect its bottom line immediately. It jeopardizes the activities due to this large element in overall ownership costs.

According to one research, complexity is responsible for 25% of software maintenance expenses and over 17% of the entire software lifecycle cost.

Another 2018 study by Stripe cites that "poor coding" costs the globe an estimated $85 billion each year. It's also important to include the expenses of delivering faulty software or being out-competed in the market by a rival, which isn't included in these calculations. The only rational way to deal with faulty code is to deal with it early and often.

  1. The quality of code can significantly impact the programmers' happiness at work. Businesses serious about attracting top-tier employees, improving morale, and reducing employee attrition can't afford to overlook this connection.

Software project success or failure heavily depends on the number of people leaving the company. Programmers are more prone to make errors while working on unfamiliar tasks.

  1. Lastly, code quality is the driving force behind product quality. It is less probable that high-quality code would have bugs, the leading cause of customer complaints. The relationship between code quality, commercial success, and vulnerability reduction are also possible.

Best practices for improving the code quality

Another aspect of custom software development includes strategies to improve code quality. This makes code reviews an absolute need. Additionally, just as there are terrible code reviews, there are also bad code reviews.

Developing a quality code will need you to review it, improve the codebase, ensure productivity, and offer general satisfaction to your team.

Consider following some of these best practices to ensure crafting a quality code.

Use relevant coding standards

It is best to use coding standards as one of the bare basics of creating high-quality code. Using a coding standard provides uniformity across coworkers and enhances the codebase's dependability. The ideal technique involves training and assisting key developers. A static code analysis tool can come to the rescue.

Analyze the code before reviewing it

It is mandatory to analyze code as it is written before it is subjected to a code review. This method saves time and money, enabling developers to fix faults easily.

Follow best practices for code review

Reviewing code is one of the top three methods for ensuring code quality. Code review is performed extensively and effectively dramatically increases code quality.

Refactor code when necessary

By refactoring old legacy code, you can make it easier to understand and clean up the codebase simultaneously.

Follow standards for naming variables

Following the common naming conventions for your code variables is necessary to create a better code.

Implement API best practices

Performance must be good to keep track of development budgets and how they affect end-user value. Reports show that companies in all fields may spend an average of 42% more than they need to on cloud services.

A good start is to set up a standard for which APIs your team will use, how data will be formatted, and how APIs will be set up.

Analyze bugs

It's almost certain that your code will have errors at some point. Find out ways to address these issues. Learning from errors is essential to becoming a better developer, making bugs discovery and analysis a crucial part of the overall process.

Analyze the effect of an issue as it arises. Think of it as whether it is a low- or high-priority problem, respectively. There should be no delay in fixing a high-priority problem.

Remove resource leaks and memory errors

Code reliability is necessary to measure how well a custom software development handles failure. On the other hand, it measures the likelihood of your code failing. Software performance may degrade due to memory issues such as null pointer exceptions and resource leaks.

Conclusion

Maintaining high code quality standards is just as crucial as developing the code itself. You can improve the code quality anytime during the phase of custom software development. This lets you consider the key code quality aspects and leverage the coding standards to benefit from it.

Choosing the right bespoke software development company is critical to achieving your business objectives. For this, speak to developers at Peerbits and quickly catch up with our QA team as testing impacts your software development. Getting high-quality code can help you establish future-ready software solutions.

Regardless of the programming language or framework, ensuring code quality throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC) ensures reliable, stable, and easy-to-use software.

Our experts at Peerbits can lower your total cost of ownership for software by supplying high-quality code. We ensure adhering to top coding standards in the industry.

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FAQs

What is code quality?

The code quality comprises the properties and attributes of your code. There is no single standard for code quality as the company's business emphasis and unique demands determine the quality. Ultimately, the business priorities and expectations from the software determine how the code is good or bad.

Why are coding standards important in software development?

Code standards ensure that all developers follow the same set of rules. Thus, even the most inexperienced programmers can readily comprehend, troubleshoot, and maintain the code. Following the coding standards:

  1. Prevents issues from occurring in the first place.

  2. Aid in transitioning from detecting problems to developing more resilient software.

  3. Ensure using widely acknowledged industry standards to maximize the efforts of others.

How is code quality measured in agile?

Agile software development can magnify the issue of poorly-written code. This is possible due to a lack of adoption of the agile principles, a bad implementation, or the Agile concepts are just not applicable to the firm.

After each sprint, the developers should aim at providing a functional application that is free of bugs.

Each user story has a set of criteria that must be met before the narrative can be accepted. Everyone in the sprint team is on the same page regarding the user stories.

For this reason, it is best to use the Three Amigos method in agile to define requirements and project design clearly. And lastly, code reviews and a high level of code coverage are carried out.

What are the three quality aspects of software quality?

Functionality, Non-functional quality, and latent quality are the three key pillars of software quality.

  • What the software does vs. what it is meant to perform is known as "Functional Quality."
  • How well it performs what it's meant to do is measured in terms of Non-Functional Quality.
  • How well it will continue to perform in the future is known as Latent Quality.
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Ubaid Pisuwala

Co-founder of Peerbits and Entrepreneurship, Formulation of Business Strategies, Creation and Management of high-performance teams, Management of key corporate relationships.

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