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What Is Code Quality?
Code quality — producing software free of critical defects that meets its functional and nonfunctional requirements — should always be among a project’s primary goals. But other metrics affect code quality like adopting processes in the software development lifecycle that ensure the production of high-quality code.
What Is Code Quality?
Determining code quality can be subjective and open to argument. After all, there are various purposes and degrees of criticality that code serves.
Code that checks your spelling while writing a document is not very critical compared to code that runs your implantable cardioverter-defibrillator in treatment for sudden cardiac death due to ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Yet, most will be consistent with the contention that error-free code which reliably performs its intended function defines code quality. The maintainability of functionality is critical regardless.
However, there are other properties to code that contribute to high-quality code that should not be omitted from this equation. These include code maintainability, clarity, testability, portability, robustness, reusability, complexity, safety, security, and more.
These code quality metrics can determine how a single piece of code might affect the overall quality of your code.
Code review tools offer one more vector toward avoiding low-quality code, time-consuming fixes, and the other common pitfalls developer teams face during software development. Knowing what makes quality code is just as important as knowing how to measure code quality.
Benefits of Code Quality
Implementing technical and cultural measures in delivering high-quality code has everlasting benefits. They all impact product success, software quality, and longevity including labor costs and time to market. Streamline the development process, up your quality standards, and improve code analysis to further enhance future projects.
Parasoft Test Automation Tool Suite
Parasoft offers a suite of software test automation tools for use in the development and delivery of high-code quality compliant to industry functional standards. It automates tedious manual work, reducing labor costs associated with software verification and validation. Various tools address specific needs from static code analysis to security issues, quality control, and beyond.
Collect coverage from unit testing, system testing, manual testing, as well as all other test execution methods used. Parasoft C/C++test supports a range of coverage metrics (Branch, Statement, MC/DC, and so on) that teams can use in native and cross application development.
Collect and monitor code coverage during manual or automated functional testing performed on your Java application. Users can send coverage data and test results to merge and correlate for analysis. This provides insights about how well the application is tested and the quality of your tests.
Collect code coverage information for standalone and web applications written in C# and VB.NET. Install the monitored application on the same machine where dotTEST is installed or on another machine.
Parasoft DTP aggregates the results from across testing practices, providing intelligent and continuous monitoring of the testing outcomes for greater visibility into what is working — and what isn't.
Anchored in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), Parasoft SOAtest simplifies the complexity of functional testing across APIs, UIs, databases, and more. Change management systems continuously monitor quality for Agile DevOps environments.
Enhance selenium testing with AI. Selenium tests are often unstable and difficult to maintain. Improve web UI tests with a flexible Selenium testing tool that integrates seamlessly with your Agile DevOps environment. Parasoft Selenic fixes common Selenium problems within your existing projects and with no vendor lock.
Create, deploy, & manage virtual test environments.During software testing you're often constrained by limited access to real data and live services in your test environment. The Parasoft service virtualization tool fills in the gaps, letting you create virtual equivalents that you can build and manipulate to behave just like the real thing.
Provides runtime memory leak detection and memory debugging for C and C++ applications. Even highly experienced developers can make mistakes in allocating, using, and releasing memory correctly. This can lead to hard-to-find bugs that sometimes show up only after the software has been running for a long time.
Code Quality Best Practices
When it comes to quality coding, there are several highly beneficial practices. Every team has its own secret sauce to prevent bad code or, as some programmers might say the code “smells”. While some in-house rules are fine to have, relying on a fixed set of practices provides more stability in the long term. Here’s a list of some of the methods to consider. Also, take into account the balance between software criticality and speed of delivery.
How to Get Started With Code Quality
Step 1: Code Review by Peers
If you’re experiencing poor code quality issues (bugs, regressions, high maintenance costs, and so on), the first remedy to apply is code peer reviews.
Having a group of engineers visually and collaboratively step through the code that each engineer has written is one of the most important code quality activities that an organization can perform. Different minds with various levels of experience, coding styles, and logic thought can quickly expose issues in the code that can be remedied before they are committed into the development stream.
Step 2: Static Analysis
The second most important step is performing static analysis on the code, using industry coding standards such as MISRA, AUTOSAR C++ 14, CERT, CWE, OWASP, UL 2900, or others. These standards have been developed and designed by software engineers with decades of experience in writing safe, secure, and reliable software.
Parasoft can automate your static analysis by finding and reporting any code rule or directive violation during the implementation phase and you can also choose to automate the analyzer as part of your build process or continuous integration pipeline.
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Step 3: Code Testing
The third step is to test the code at the various verification phases of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). Unit, integration, system, and acceptance testing. Create test cases for each SDLC phase and ensure that requirements are satisfied and that the functionality or code is robust, in that it can handle your sunny, rainy, and negative execution scenarios.
If your quality issues are security, safety, portability, or another specific topic, focus on solving these issues during implementation when they are the least expensive to resolve or focus your quality assurance efforts in these specific areas.
For example, if security is the issue, then incorporate or improve the testing techniques (risk assessment, penetration testing, API security testing, security scanning, and more) needed to find security vulnerabilities.
Parasoft is unique in that it offers automated and continuous testing solutions for enterprise software development and end-to-end testing solutions for embedded safety- and security-critical systems. In addition, Parasoft offers software security solutions that protect against vulnerabilities.
Businesses need to accelerate delivery to meet customers’ needs. Parasoft’s Continuous Quality Suite ensures your software is reliable, scalable, and secure to deliver a win in high-stakes enterprise software development.
Embedded software requires thorough testing at each phase of the software development life cycle, from system and high-level design to unit and integration testing.
Parasoft covers all your needs with dedicated, automated tools and solutions for each step in both the verification and validation stages. You can achieve compliance to industry process standards and deliver quality software.
Given the frequency of cyberattacks, your code cannot afford security vulnerabilities. Nor can you afford to make security an afterthought. Embed security standards into your software development from the start.
Conduct static application security testing (SAST) with Parasoft AI-powered security tools (supporting more than 25 languages and frameworks) and leverage API security testing to verify your functional security requirements and secure APIs. We offer blogs, recorded webinars, whitepapers, and more to assist team members.
Frequently Asked Questions
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