Article

The Pros and Cons of Using Cyclomatic Complexity as a Code Quality Metric

Published: 13 April 2023

Cyclomatic complexity is a popular metric for measuring code quality. It provides a quantitative measure of the complexity of control flow in software and identifies potential bugs and errors. However, there are both advantages and disadvantages to using cyclomatic complexity as a code quality metric.

One advantage of using cyclomatic complexity as a code quality metric is its ability to measure the complexity of control flow in software. It helps developers identify high-complexity areas of code that may be difficult to understand and maintain, increasing the risk of bugs and errors. Another advantage of using cyclomatic complexity is that it provides a measurable quantity that can be used to compare different code bases.

However, there are also disadvantages to using cyclomatic complexity as a code quality metric. One drawback is that it does not account for other factors affecting code quality, such as code readability, maintainability, and test coverage. Another disadvantage is that it can be misused as a performance metric, where developers aim to reduce the cyclomatic complexity without addressing the underlying issues that contribute to it. Finally, using cyclomatic complexity as a code quality metric can encourage overly simplistic code that sacrifices readability and maintainability to reduce complexity.

To address these disadvantages, developers can use cyclomatic complexity in conjunction with other metrics that provide a more comprehensive assessment of code quality. For example, code readability can be reviewed using tools that analyse variable and function names, comments, and code formatting. Test coverage can be measured using code coverage tools that identify areas of code that are not tested thoroughly.

In conclusion, using cyclomatic complexity as a code quality metric has advantages and disadvantages. While it is a valuable metric for identifying high-complexity areas of code, it should be used with other metrics to provide a more comprehensive assessment of code quality.

What next?

Learn some of the best practices for reducing cyclomatic complexity in your code.

Read more

Related articles...

Article
Digital Transformation in Banking 2024: Trends, Challenges, and Strategies

The challenges faced by the banking sector in 2024 mean…

Read More
Article
Challenging DORA Metrics: A Comprehensive Study Reveals the Limits of Lead Time to Change in Software Development

The quest for the most effective metrics to gauge software…

Read More
Article
Redefining Vendor Partnerships: Key Strategies for Enhanced Application Development

Introduction Overview of Current Challenges in Application Development In the…

Read More
abstract02@2x

Bringing objectivity to your decisions

Giving teams visibility, managers are enabled to increase the velocity of development teams without risking code quality.

0

out of 10 of the worlds biggest banks

0

of the S&P Top 50 Companies

0

of the Fortune 50 Companies