Our Head of Tech, Lionel Roodyn, explains why high quality code is essential in maintaining and improving software solutions that stand the test of time and function as they should.
Why do we need to be concerned about the quality of code, and why do we need to make sure that when an application is developed, that the actual code itself is written in a professional manner and is of the highest quality? There are many reasons for this, and the first reason essentially is maintenance. We can look at maintenance in two different ways. One is the fact that there will always be bugs in a system. To be able to fix those bugs quickly and easily and professionally, the better the quality of the code, the quicker and easier it is going to be to be able to fix any bugs that one could find. That's one aspect of it.
The other aspect is when you add new developers to your team, and this is something which is going to happen on a regular basis. The better the quality of the code, and the more professionally it has been written, the quicker and easier it is for a new member of the team to get up to speed.
It's absolutely necessary that any code that is being written for your applications is written at the highest level of quality and with the greatest professionalism. In addition to the idea of maintenance, dealing with bugs and dealing with new members of your team, there is the idea of improvements.
Whenever you have an application that's in the wild that is being used, there will always be requests for improvements or changes to that code. Now, if the code has been written of the highest quality and it has been written professionally, then it is much easier and a lot quicker to write those improvements on top of the existing code, which means that the whole system is much more efficient. You will be getting your results a lot quicker and at a higher level of professionalism.
The people who have written and developed the code platforms, for instance, Microsoft or Google or any of the larger companies, expect code to be written in a particular way. They expect it to be written professionally and properly in their terms. And when code is written like that, then it works to the very best of its ability. It works in the most efficient manner possible and produces the results in exactly the way that is expected. If code is not written professionally and not written in the highest quality, then that efficiency is vastly reduced and sometimes can even cause problems which are unexpected.
4. Why Quality Is Needed
What is meant by quality software? What do we mean when we say a piece of software has been written really well and professionally? Without going into detail about code itself, I think the easiest way to understand this idea is that it's very similar to language. If you take an article or a book, you can always know when it is being written professionally. That usually is to do with the structure - the structure of the words, the structure of the paragraphs, the way the explanations have been set out step-by-step in an easy to understand format.
And in addition to that, it's also important about the way it has been displayed. So a professional article will be displayed in at least paragraphs, and there might be different sections of it that are highlighted, but the whole thing looks professional and also makes it easier to understand and absorb. Software is very similar in this respect.