There is a saying that quality is a free commodity provided one invests in improving it. The major problem with the legacy code is its brittleness. To avoid pains in maintaining such coding practices, we need to carefully focus on the coding quality; upgrading all the time in an attempt to get better every day. Here, let’s try to slowly delve into the key issues that help in the overall improvement of coding practices and its .
- Continuous integration
This is a valuable practice to ensure there is no breaking of code between the old and new one. When combined with the above two practices it altogether raises the quality bar a notch higher.
- Setting coding standards
Proper planning of coding standards and implementation among the developers can contribute significantly in improving coding quality. Once the code base grows in size, one needs to split it up in manageable sub-modules, to have a complete understanding and control over the complete project. Existing coding practices and standards may be modified and signed off – depending on the need to of project, at the time of project kick-off.
- Static tool analysis
Refactoring of code is another way to improve quality and design. Java & C# developers are blessed with the tool that leads to frequent, quick and safe restructuring. Refactoring improves nonfunctional attributes of the software.
- Unit test driven development
Among all the practices which contribute to better code quality and lesser bugs is this one. The main problem with the poor quality code is the difficulty to implement changes. And you must to design an effective and fast unit test suite for your code base to comply. Developers need training and guidance to implement and integrate this in their development cycle.
- Acceptance test driven development
It is the next level after the above one. The acceptance criteria are decided before the start of any development so that they can be automatically executed. In most of cases testers need to sit with their customers to create rigorous test conditions to be applied to the code.
It is recommended that coding standards are to be inculcated slowly and naturally in the long run and should be automated wherever possible. In fact all or most of the suggestions discussed above should be automated in the long run to reduce time and money. It may cost initially but overall turn out be cheaper and efficient.
Summarizing, team cohesiveness is an important factor in the overall development objectives of designing good code. A new tech lead should not force out any technology overnight. The team and tech lead need to build trust and a rhythm to improve the overall code quality in a phased manner.