Complete Code Quality Guide
20 October 2020 6 min read
Measuring the quality of code
Just like quality assurance is done in manufacturing, testing code quality is also done in software development. While developing software or if you're inspecting code written by your team, you need to make sure you verify its quality at every level of development before it gets more complex. In the world of software, the phrase code quality can be interpreted in different ways by different industries and teams.
However, there are some code quality measuring parameters that cut across all industries and teams. In this article, I am going to share with you everything you need to know about code quality, why it is necessary, and how it is measured.
The code quality assurance methods that I am going to share can be used to verify code quality on both your local machine or GitHub code quality. Just make sure you read till the end.
What is code quality?
Code quality refers to the measure of how good code for executing a given task is written. So, code that is not written well enough can be referred to as bad quality code, whereas code that is written well can be referred to as good quality code.
The quality of code can be asses by either the programmer, CTO, or even the CEO in some cases.
Why you need to measure code quality
Just like Bill Gates said,
Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.
The progress of programming should be assessed by not only the quantity of code but by quality too. Here is why:
· It is necessary for continuity: If you are building any software, having poor quality code will make it hard for the next person or team to take on the project.
· To avoid having to make too many modifications in the future: If you don't measure code quality early enough, you will likely have to make modifications in the future that would likely lead to more financial costs and a waste of time.
· To build a good reputation as a brand: When you write poor quality code, the end program will not be as effective and efficient as it should be. Such work could damage your reputation as a brand in the long run. So, measuring code quality can help you avoid all this.
· It eases team collaboration: Doing a code quality check will ensure that the code written by every programmer on the team is easily understood by the rest of the team members. This is important for the project that requires collaborative efforts.
·Nurturing: code quality checking works best for junior developers. In that case, senior engineers can spend less time on code review and also less time to explain why it is worth writing this way and not otherwise. It will also be useful for more experienced workers who start to learn new technologies.
How to measure the quality of code
Here are some of the parameters used to measure the quality of code
It is almost impossible to write code that is free of bugs, especially if you are working on complex software projects that requires writing programs with several lines of code. That is why it is necessary to make it easy to fix any errors that could be in the code without taking a lot of time.
For instance, if fixing a few lines code takes hours or even days because it affects the major part of the program, it means that code is not easily maintainable and hence poor-quality code.
Good quality code should be efficient
Any software program runs using computing hardware resources. Efficient code uses the minimum possible hardware resources that it needs to get the intended task done. A program that uses more hardware resources that it requires is considered not efficient, which means its code is not of good quality.
Another way of measuring efficiency is the time it takes for the code to do the intended task. A program that takes less time to run is considered to be more efficient hence having code quality code than one that takes more time.
Readability and formatting
Good quality code should be easy to read for even beginner programmers. The formatting and spacing used while writing programs should also follow the standards of the programming language used to write the program.
Code that is properly formatted and easy to read is considered to be of good quality than code that is harder to read and not properly formatted.
Adding comments to the code also improves readability, which further boosts its quality. So, while doing code quality assurance, you need to take note of whether the comments are used wherever they are required.
A large codebase is hard to read and difficult to find the right part of the code in it, so this issue should be avoided.
Extensibility in coding refers to the level of flexibility of adding more features in your program. Good quality should make adding new features to the program easy and shouldn't require making a lot of modifications for the code to run properly.
Use of code quality analysis tools
There are several software programs out there that were designed to measure the quality of code. Here are some of the most commonly used ones that you can try out.
1. Reshift: This is a SaaS platform that developers can be used to check for any deficiencies in the code before going ahead to deploy it to production. It is used mainly for programs written in Java, .Net, and C#.
2. duecode.io: It is a SaaS platform that can be used by both top management and the real programmers to assess the quality of code. duecode.io will surely help you improve the quality of code – and the good news is it supports several programming languages. This tool can be used for up to 30 days for free and you don’t even have to give in your credit card details to get this trial period.
3. Embold: This is another code quality analysis tool that can is used to assess the robustness, maintainability, stability and security of your code. Embold supports over ten programming languages and can be integrated into GitHub, Azure, Bitbucket, and Git.
4. PVS-Studio: It is a software quality analysis tool that is used to check for bugs and any security vulnerabilities in code written in languages like C#, C++, C, and Java. The good news is PVS-Studio can be used on Linux, Windows, and macOS.
5. SonarQube: It is an online code reviewing tool that makes sure all your coding modules are analyzed for their quality. Packed with a range of features, it helps you write good quality code without much hassle.
There are several other code quality analysis tools that you use to measure the quality of your code. All you need to do is look for one that suits the language used to write the program whose quality you intend to measure.
Measuring the quality of code is something that every programmer, CTO, and CEO has to embrace if they want to write software that is efficient and effective in doing what it has to do at the present moment and in the future.
It could take you a couple of hours or even days to measure the quality of code, but this would save you a lot of financial resources and time that you could waste in the future as a result of poor-quality code. It is way much cheaper and less time consuming to have all the issues of quality resolved early enough than dragging them to the future after programs have gotten bigger and more complex.