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Continuously improving code quality

Improving the code quality improvement process

As software development became more complex and dynamic, the constraints on code quality and the review processes around code quality became more tightened. In the advent of continuous delivery and continuous integration, these constraints are tightened even more. The Devoteam Delivery Rationalization Framework can pinpoint the required level of code quality in your delivery process and help you achieve that level.

COBOL days

Back in the days that I was still allowed to do some programming, code review was a nonexistent and non mandatory technique. Fortunately, due to the awful amount of time programmers spend to get a COBOL program running at all, programmers got so much acquainted with their own code that you could successfully argue an extensive introspective code review had already taken place – ensuring the benefits of current code review techniques.

A steep reduction of defects

Contrary to the olden programming techniques, Object Orientation allowed people to work in teams on the same code base of which nobody had a clear holistic understanding anymore. It became evident that code writing standards, code review and testing was going to be a mandatory part of organizations that required cost effective software development. The development team I was part of at that time, quickly adopted the beliefs stated in the agile manifesto and adapted itself to agile software development techniques like pair-programming for improving the code quality. As a result of this we encountered a steep reduction of defects found during tests and, more importantly, of problems suffered in production

The automation of automation

Today we stand for another revolution in software development: the automation of automation itself. It’s a process that is underway for quite some time and follows mechanisms that lie in strategic planning at business level: the standardization of work processes. At Devoteam, our strategy has always been to follow developments in the IT industry. We try to benefit as much as possible from these developments by seeking new opportunities focusing on customer impact.

DRF and Code Review

The Devoteam Delivery Rationalization Framework is aimed at providing insight in how mature an organization is with its overall development process regarding the standardization of work or automation of automation processes. While structured programming, defining and using standards and code peer review is still needed to improve code quality, the way forward now is to automate the review process. Organizations that still conduct informal walkthroughs and formal inspections should transform these processes to script-driven code review while recursively also improving the scripts. Eventually this will be more cost effective than the manual process.

Improve the organization’s delivery process

The Code Review maturity assessment is part of the DRF assessment. During such an assessment, Devoteam consultants analyze the current level of Code Review and address the opportunity to improve the organization’s delivery process using Devoteam’s continuous integration and software engineering expertise.

An example of the Devoteam’s DRF maturity levels for code review

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