6 Strategies to Measure and Improve Code Quality in 2024

Published: 7 March 2024
Code Quality and Code Review disucssion

For companies serious about optimizing their software estate, measuring and improving code quality is the name of the game.

Cutting costs and settling for the cheaper option may show results in the short term.
However, those who adopt strategies to remain (or become) best-in-class software development organizations will win the long game.

At the scale of a global enterprise company, this means building systems to improve code quality, coupled with metrics to measure it

This article will explore six strategies for implementation in 2024 to enhance code quality, empower developers, and enable their organizations to flourish.

1. Improve Code Reviews

Effective code review begins with the developers themselves. Teams of developers should allocate time for peer review to ensure fresh eyes examine the code. As well as being a filter for any initial quality issues, this process improves the developer experience as a whole.
Collaborating in a manual code review acts as excellent practical training and fosters a more open and accountable team dynamic.

Beyond this, automated code review technology will allow for quality control at scale. Tools like BlueOptima’s Code Insights enable organizations to minimize security risk and reduce technical debt in development projects. 

2. Optimize Static Code Analysis

Static Code Analysis is an essential safety net and is key to ensuring code review best practices. It allows for quality and vulnerability testing prior to deployment so that issues are ironed out before they lead to performance issues or risks of exposure to malware.

Analysis tools can assess your code against a predefined set of rules. Even better is to start defining your organization’s own coding standard and measuring against that (more on this later).

3. Measure Team Performance

As well as monitoring the quality of code, organizations need a clear understanding of how their developers are performing.

No two developers are exactly alike. Like all of us, they work at different paces and have different strengths and weaknesses.
This is made more complex when teams are remote, distributed across different time zones, or are outsourced from vendors.
At an enterprise level, this makes a fair and accurate analysis of developer performance a real challenge.

Fortunately, solutions exist that can provide an objective and data-driven assessment of developer productivity and efficiency.
Many organizations use BlueOptima’s Developer Analytics platform to understand the productivity and efficiency of hundreds or thousands of developers globally. 

The insights provided allow accurate tracking of developer performance and contributions to code quality and maintainability.

Moreover, it enables informed decision-making around key strategies such as talent mapping, vendor management, and DevOps.

4. Set Coding Standards and Guidelines

In the strategies listed so far, no improvement in code quality can be objectively measured without having a set coding standard to act as a guide for developers and analysis tools alike.

Organizations with extensive software estate and large development teams should work to develop a custom coding standard that will best reflect their definition of high-quality code. 

Having this standard established and readily accessible has many benefits. It allows a simpler, faster code review process and encourages a culture of excellence and ownership amongst developers.  

5. Promote Training and Knowledge Sharing

With the increase of remote work and globally distributed teams, developers often work in isolation. While this has benefits, we must be careful not to block the distribution of knowledge and the sharing of experience.

Open communication and collaboration help root out issues and misunderstandings before they show up in the code.
Interaction can go far beyond the daily standup. High-performing and motivated teams benefit from regular one-to-one’s with mentors and group workshop sessions to review ideas and answer questions.

Proactive collaboration can centralize the generated ideas in a knowledge hub accessible to all. This helps with future training and clarifies expectations of development standards.

Click here to see BlueOptima’s report on the influence of collaboration on developer performance.

6. Analyze and Iterate on Code Quality

Like a company’s broader digital transformation strategy, improving code quality has no finish line.
To optimize for success, the final strategy is to stay agile through ongoing learning, adaptation, and improvement.

With a system in place for effective code review and team performance monitoring, you are ready to benchmark quality and efficiency

Against this benchmark, you can measure the impact of other strategic initiatives and begin to uncover the challenges and opportunities unique to your organization. 

With the right tools in place to monitor the impact of your strategy, all that is left is to keep iterating to improve code quality and set up your development teams for success.
Explore how BlueOptima’s suite of analytics tools can provide end-to-end insights into your organization’s software development efforts in 2024.

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