What is Code Quality in Agile?
08 June 2021 5 min read
If your company is developing or planning to develop a software product, how much time are you spending on code quality control, and how much on other things like marketing?
As a CEO, COO, or other c-level managers, you are probably much more concerned about the business side of things, rather than the technical side like checking if the code is written and works properly. Instead, you leave that part to your developers, which is perfectly understandable.
You probably lack the knowledge or the time to deal with this.
But here’s the deal. Your company is tied to that software product inseparably. If the product is poor, it will reflect badly on the business as a whole and you won’t be able to achieve business success.
Code quality is especially important for young companies, especially agile ones. The reason for this is that as a, let’s say, emerging custom software development company, you are faced with much more uncertainty than an already established software development company.
If your business is to have a fighting chance in an uncertain and fluid arena-like, for example, custom software development, against already entrenched competitors, you need to start paying attention to code quality in agile more.
Why is Code Quality Important?
The code is what runs your software. If the code is poor, the software won’t function as you envisioned and this will reflect in the decreased satisfaction of your end-users, or customers.
On the other hand, if the code is of high quality, then this will inevitably result in better customer satisfaction.
But that’s not all. A good, clean code also makes things much easier for your development team.
If they have to deal with poorly organized and written code, they will, as a result, have to spend a lot of their time fixing that code, while not being able to actually improve it.
That means your product and, with it, your business will stagnate.
However, if the code is of high quality, things become much easier for the development team and it can save them a lot of time and energy, that they can then use to further improve the product.
How to Check and Maintain Code Quality in Agile?
Now, taking a look at Agile, the problem of poorly written code becomes even more pronounced. The reason behind this could be that the organization hasn’t truly embraced Agile principles, or it has but it has applied them poorly, or that the ideas of Agile or just not suitable for them (not everyone should be doing Agile).
The main ideas or concepts behind Agile is outlined in the Agile Manifesto:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
- Working product over comprehensive documentation.
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
- Responding to change over following a plan.
The problem is that this was written in 2001 and has since shown some lacking. For example, You can’t dismiss planning or processes (though you should be ready to respond to change).
When it comes to software lifecycles, Agile Development typically looks like this:
1st Phase: Requirements
The first phase here is creating a list of requirements that include the end result and the supporting features.
2nd Phase: Design
In the 2nd phase the dev team is assembled and the requirements. The team then discusses how to approach these requirements and what tools to use.
3rd Phase: Coding and Development
Now we come to the most important part of the software lifecycle, which is coding and development. This is where Agile developers need to walk a fine line between writing code quickly, but also maintaining its quality.
In this stage, Agile devs shouldn’t be cutting corners, but every little bit like low-code development options such as Appian and Caspio or automating helps.
4th Phase: Integration and Testing
The next phase is all about ensuring that the code is clean and compatible with whatever developers have written before.
This phase can take frustratingly long and slow down the project as you try to hunt down every possible mistake and bug and that’s not something you have much time for in Agile.
Since time is often of the essence, software developers, but also executives, can quickly check how the software development goes using a code quality rating tool like Duecode.io. With this tool, you can better understand how your code performs based on a code quality rating from A+ to H.
For instance, this can help identify the poor link in the team that is underqualified and is slowing the rest down, or analyze the performance of the entire team.
Phase 5:Implementation and Deployment
Now the software is finally deployed and offered to the customer and we are just waiting for his input, like what features we are missing or if there are any bugs that we missed.
Finally, the team gathers again and talks about the project and if they were able to complete the requirements for this stage. If they have, they move on to the next one.
Understanding code quality is important for the success of your software development project and with it the entire success of your business. As a c-level manager and non-tech executive, you may not have the background to understand it that well.
Or, as the creator of the Agile Manifesto, Robert C. Martin pointed out:
“The Agile movement shifted dramatically towards the project management side”
The developers might not be always happy about it, but managers need to start better understanding Agile. If the two meet somewhere in the middle, they can accomplish great things.
The question of how to check and maintain code quality in Agile has a very different meaning and answer if you’re a manager or executive than if you’re a developer.
As a developer, your primary and often only concern would be to simply get it to work so you can release it and move on to other things.
But as a business owner or exec, you need to think about how your software is doing on the market. With poor quality code, it won’t do very well.
- How to measure, check and improve code quality:
Updated on the 1st of November, 2021