In a dynamic landscape of software development, the emergence of modern technologies reigns supreme in the IT services industry. Software quality is not an option anymore but rather a cornerstone for success. Among constant advances in technology, it serves as the basis for every project’s development. High-quality software applications define user satisfaction, project success, and growth of software applications.
Different software developers define software quality in their way, emphasizing various aspects of the program. However, one typical response often revolves around scalability and performance. When a program or a web application’s pages load quickly and can handle high or peak loads without sacrificing software quality, it is deemed to be of excellent quality. You will hear such things as code smells and other issues when asking these developers to describe how they think about the quality of the code they create.
Software Quality Characteristics for Developers
Software quality matters more than just lines of code or tricky algorithms. It is what helps link users with developers. As a developer, you should prioritize some characteristics of software quality. Here are some insights to guide you in building better software:
1. Correctness and Completeness of Functionality
A code’s functional suitability is primarily measured by the accuracy and comprehensiveness of its delivered functionality. Evaluating this involves a calculation known as “defect density,” which represents the ratio of faults to release size. For example, in an Agile SCRUM model, we can determine defect density by dividing the total number of defects by sprint points. Suppose the defect density exhibits a rising trend, even at a consistent velocity. In that case, this may suggest that the code falls short of meeting its expected level of precision and depth in functionality. Developers need to vigilantly track their code alignment with these objectives to achieve an exemplary score for good software quality.
To attain a high score in the functional suitability software quality attribute; they must ensure their code meets functional suitability standards that aim at achieving these objectives:
- Determining functional completeness requires us to verify that the functionality’s use cases meet all business requirements: this concept encapsulates the crucial aspect of operational efficacy.
- To ensure the functionality aligns with the company’s needs, it verifies functional correctness.
- The domain of functional appropriateness encompasses the determination of a feature’s suitability.
2. Measuring Code Maintainability
Evaluating the software quality requires us to consider maintainability as a critical factor: it is an assessment of how easily we can modify code. This element is essential for system growth and its capacity to adapt over time; thus, various characteristics- modularity, testability, reusability- contribute significantly to maintaining optimal coding standards. Software projects necessitate continuous changes, updates, and bug fixes to adapt to evolving demands and resolve issues as they progress. Developers proficiently manage these constant modifications by relying on tools such as Sonar, a codebase maintainability measuring instrument.
The following techniques support code maintainability:
- Breaking the code into more minor, independent modules facilitate maintenance and testing in Modularization. It is imperative to reduce the dependencies between each module; this ensures that any alterations will not indiscriminately affect one another.
- Concealing a code’s internal details and displaying only what is essential is Encapsulation. Any modifications made within this encapsulated module carry a lower probability of impacting the software quality.
3. Understanding Software Usability
Usability in software quality characteristics could be represented in the form of readability and understandability of the code. Developers can enhance code by utilizing consistent formatting and descriptive names for functions and classes. Further, valuable insights into the purpose of the code to ease understanding through context add-ons and comments. Another crucial aspect is the code’s cyclomatic complexity, which denotes the presence of numerous conditional statements (such as if, while, for, &, ||, and switch-case) in the code. More complexity may impede usability due to its difficulty in understanding. Developers meticulously control their codes’ cyclomatic complexities to guarantee ease of use. By strictly adhering to commonly recognized naming conventions and employing descriptive class and method names, developers can enhance the overall structure of the codebase.
4. Improving Code Efficiency
Efficiency plays a crucial role in determining software quality. It encompasses the performance aspect of code, ensuring that solutions can scale effectively. In today’s tech landscape, with the rise of cloud-based applications, the need for efficient code has become even more vital for developers. Taking the occasional step to run a profiler on code and perform memory profiling is necessary to achieve optimal results.
To achieve high software quality that is also cost-effective, developers must prioritize writing functional code using optimized algorithms and data structures. Regular code reviews and fixing memory leaks, as well as conducting loading and scalability testing, are essential steps. Incorporating caching techniques and continuously striving for improvement are also critical aspects of achieving software efficiency.
5. Software Security Best Practices
When we talk about security, we are primarily referring to the security measures that developers need to implement in their code to ensure protection against potential vulnerabilities. It is no longer enough to rely on just perimeter-level application security. It is essential for developers to proactively consider potential security vulnerabilities during the design and development phases. This may involve familiarizing themselves with various threat modelling techniques and following the OWASP top 10 security recommendations.
Elevating Software Quality – For a Robust Future
To lay a solid foundation for any development project and its software quality, it is essential to prioritize the above vital characteristics. Not just the software quality characteristics, there are specific skills the developers should be updated with to enhance project outcomes in the short and long term. This helps reduce maintenance expenses and leads to increased customer satisfaction and a reputation for reliability. Therefore, to achieve ongoing success, developers must refine and bolster them continuously.
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|Ajitesh Kumar Shukla was a Principal Architect at Evoke Technologies. He used to head the Architecture and Governance initiatives at Evoke. Ajitesh was responsible for enabling enterprise-wide adoption of leading-edge technologies and related practices, including, implementation of relevant tools and frameworks. He also spearheaded the DevOps, Big Data and Analytics practice at Evoke.