Code quality is crucial for software development. It has a significant impact on the overall quality of software. You can either define a code as good/high-quality code or bad/low-quality code.
Of course, quality, either good or bad, is a subjective matter. Different software development teams may have different definitions depending on the context of coding.
The reason coding standard is so important is highlighted in the real-world stats:
- Five seconds of loading time engages the audience 70% longer than nineteen seconds of loading time.
- 100-millisecond drop in website speed also drops the rate of conversion by almost 7%
- 79% of online shoppers won’t return to a website with poor site performance.
Why Invest in Good Quality Code?
Software developers globally adhere to certain coding standards to maintain a quality development environment. Given below are some key benefits when these standards are followed:
- Easier to read
- Easier to maintain
- Easier to understand
- Reusable codes
- Effective performance
- Consistent throughout the solution/software
- Easy knowledge transfer and demonstration
Why Code Quality Matters?
Code quality is the usefulness and maintainability of code throughout the use of the application. It covers good and bad quality codes. It also provides other useful insights about coding standards in software engineering.
Code quality also measures how a code communicates between developers. Even similar software might show a huge difference in coding standards between two developers. However, what matters is consistent code quality throughout the software. A good code is clear and straightforward, bug-free, well tested, documented, refactored, and performant.
Developers spend a sizeable amount of their time addressing technical glitches and fixing bugs. Hence, it is imperative to focus on programming standard, which lies in the code. Code quality isn’t a new parameter. It has existed since the 1970s, and it is now a necessity. 90% of companies are using code review tools to improve their code quality.
Coding Analysis: Good Quality Code VS. Bad Quality Code
High-quality code is good and clean. It is built to last for a long time. However, bad quality code is poor that won’t stand the test of time.
Essentially, coding standard best practices suggest that code quality is good if:
- The code exactly does what it is supposed to do
- Maintains consistent style
- Easily understandable
- Well documented
According to a Software Defect Origins and Removal methods study, it was found that programmers are less efficient at detecting bugs or errors in their software. And where most forms of code testing are less than 35% efficient, it isn’t easy to detect quality.
How Can Coding Standards Best Practices Help?
Coding standards best practices are best defined as an assortment of essential rules, best practices, and guidelines to help programmers write good and cleaner code.
Programming standard also promotes sound practices of programming and improves efficiency, while checking that the software is:
- Safe, secure, and hack-proof that can be used without hurting or harming
- Reliable and easy to maintain, which works as per norms, and the codebase also grows
- Testable at the code level
- Compatible or portable with different implementation environments that lead to consistent results
Both beginner and experienced software developers should follow the coding standards best practices to write good, clean, secure, and reliable code. This reduces future rework as the codebase grows and accelerates marketing time and software performance.
When you follow programming standards, you ensure compliance with the current industry standards, such as IEC and ISO, besides enhanced consistency, security, and code reliability.
Benefits and Importance of Code Quality
The following qualities define coding standards in software engineering:
1. Increased Efficiency
Coders spend approximately 75% of their time on debugging. Rather than increasing development costs, executing coding guidelines to identify bugs earlier, and fixing them in due time, is essential. This measure, however, is an excellent long-term strategy for increased efficiency.
Efficiency directly correlates to the speed and performance of software, whereby quality is evaluated. Write reusable codes to reduce resource consumption and use appropriate data types, looping, and function at proper places.
2. Reduces Risk of Project Failure
According to this report, 14% of IT projects have been deemed a failure. Implement good quality code to avoid failures and reduce future risks.
3. Easy Code Maintenance
Writing a good uniform code makes maintenance easier by decreasing the time of bug detection. If you want to switch IT firms, a new coder could easily navigate the code to identify and fix bugs.
4. Creates Clean, Cost-Efficient Code
When you push for coding standards, you get excellent code that can drastically reduce software development costs and efforts. Reusing the code saves time, ensuring you can deliver before your deadline.
How to Implement Coding Standards in Software Engineering?
There are some best practices of coding standards in software engineering that you could follow to improve the quality of code:
- Readability & Optimization: Write simple code that is easy for developers to understand as resources and time involved in hard readable codes would be higher than that you gain from optimization. If optimization is required, create an independent module using DI and 100% test coverage.
- Prioritize Architecture: People often do things fast because they lack time to prepare for architecture. However, 99% of such cases run into trouble. Writing a code without preparing for the architecture is half-hearted work. Before starting, it is crucial to understand what the code does, its uses, how services and modules work, the structure, how it would be tested, how to debug, update, etc.
- Code Review: This is dicey. When you review a code, you can organize it only if a developer who reviews the code understands at least 95% of it and can monitor updates without any delay. In other conditions, it would be a time-consuming job that everyone hates. People often believe that reviewing code could be a brilliant way of teaching new teammates working on various parts of a particular code. However, they usually forget that reviewing the code maintains the quality of code and not to teach. Code review has been crucial for maintaining code quality and team growth. Therefore, you can leverage QA services for better code outcome.
- Use Linter: Code linter can read the code and warn you if the code does not comply with the programming standard of the coding language. It is critical, as it prevents further issues. When you use a linter for the language of the framework, you can enforce the already decided standards for coding language, ironing out creases that might eat up time later in various software developmental life cycle stages.
Do’s and Don’ts of Coding Standards in Software Engineering
- Documentation & Code Comments: Commenting is an excellent practice when you write code. It helps developers to understand the code. Using Integrated Development Environment along with other tools, you can comment in many ways. It is advised to start a routine or method with a comment specifying what the routine, function, or process does, different parameters, return values, exceptions, and errors. In addition, the role of class and file, the contents, and even steps of complicated codes must be summarized when you comment.
- Use Indentation: Experts recommend using indentation when you write a code. It is not a specific style. However, a clear and consistent style of indentation must be followed.
- Avoid Obvious Comments: Although you should follow the standards, make sure you are not commenting unnecessarily. An excessive explanation makes the code appear clumsy.
- Grouping Code: Group the tasks in several code blocks or functions, separating with proper spacing. You may add comments at the start of the block.
- Proper Naming Scheme: It is imperative to have a popular naming convention. Developers can choose the naming scheme that can be used. However, it is critical to maintaining the consistency of the naming scheme all through the code. Some of the best examples are CamelCase and UnderScore. CamelCase can be used in Java codes, while UnderScore can be used in PHP naming convention.
- Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY): During coding, coders must remember the DRY principle, or Don’t Repeat Yourself. It is also called DIE, or Duplication Is Evil principle. It is the best practice for writing code. Software programs aim to automate repetitive tasks. Thus, the application code should not be repeated.
- Avoid Deep Nesting Structure: Excessive nesting structures could make it hard to decipher the code. Therefore, it is best advised to avoid deep nesting.
- Maintain Short Length Line: Narrow and tall columns are easier to understand and comfortable for your eyes. Thus, it is advised to utilize short line length. The perfect length may be about 80 characters.
Maintaining programming standards and good quality code is equally important as writing code. Code quality is measured using tools or looking for reviews by experienced professionals. Poor quality code can be changed or improvised. Choose an experienced and reputed software development company that can write code adhering to the coding standards in software engineering.