Maintaining the code quality of an application becomes difficult when the product starts to scale and especially when the team size increases. When more people are added to the team and when all of them work simultaneously on the same project, maintaining code quality becomes harder if they do not work in a very systematic manner.
Working in an ad hoc manner instead of following a set of coding and project management rules leads to poor software quality.
What is Code Quality?
In simplest words, code quality is the quality of the code that you write. If some code is well documented, readable, clear, well-formatted, efficient, well-tested, and extendible, we can say that the code is of high quality. If your code meets all of these attributes, your code is of very high quality.
Why Code Quality is Important?
There are many benefits of having high-quality code written. Two main reasons why you should care about the quality of your code are given below.
High-quality code makes the life of the development team a lot easier: By writing high-quality code, a development team is actually working in a systematic manner because, in order to write high-quality code, the development team needs to follow some guidelines and rules. This kind of systematic work saves a ton of time and energy of the developers. They can also reuse the code more often which also saves a lot of coding effort.
When your team is writing clean code, the code will become a lot more organized. So when the code is more organized, handling a complex project will require less effort because files of well-organized code give a clear picture of the project.
High-quality code results in better customer satisfaction: When you write high-quality code, your code will run efficiently and smoothly. So the quality of your software will increase as a result, which will lead to better customer satisfaction.
How to Maintain Code Quality?
Follow a style guide and coding best practices. Following style guides and coding best practices significantly increases code quality. You can follow style guides from companies like Mozilla and Google.
Following the basic coding best practices such as naming conventions is crucial for improving code quality.
Get your code reviewed. Even if you think that the quality of your code is very high, you should get your code reviewed because feedback from reviewers will help you improve the code quality to a great extent.
Use a version control tool. A version control tool such as Git can make your team work so much systematic. With Git, team members can work on the same project simultaneously in a very systematic manner. Using a version control tool like Git, you can maintain code quality as your company grows.
Git makes version controlling a lot easier by allowing the developers to send pull requests. If the project manager approves the request, it gets added to the main development branch, which means any code written by some developer in your team will be merged into the master branch only if the project manager approves it after reviewing it.
Perform functional tests. Testing the code is extremely important because without testing the code, you cannot know whether it will function properly or not. Poorly functioning code or code that simply doesn’t work is low-quality code. High-quality code must work fine and run smoothly without any issues.
You need to run different kinds of tests such as unit tests, integration tests, and end-to-end tests. When you test each module individually, it is called unit tests. You need to run a great number of unit tests because testing all your small units of code is necessary. You have to test whether these small portions of code work or not.
After performing unit tests, you need to see if all the code components function together or not, which is known as an integration test. And finally, you need to test whether the full software works properly or not — this kind of test is termed as an end-to-end test.
Keep in mind that quality measurement should also be performed even after your product is live to see if there are errors and issues that your users are facing. Tools like Newrelic and Sentry will check for errors in real-time for you. So asking your users to report bugs is not necessary.
If you want high-quality code produced by your team, you need to make sure that your team members are working systematically and that they are following a style guide, coding best practices, and your instructions. So you have to manage people very effectively so that all of your team members write code in such a way that the code quality can be maintained as your company grows.
It’s important that you communicate with your team members at every stage of the project. Slack is an amazing communication tool that you can use to message with your team members. Slack makes team collaboration so much easy. You can integrate this tool with other tools like GitHub.