What is software Code Quality?

Code quality is not optional  January 23, 2013 – 10:15 am

Photo by Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. Once upon a time there was a triangle. It was the traditional project management “iron triangle” of cost, time and quality. (Sometimes time is replaced by scope.) The principle we learned was “you can fix any two, but it will affect the other”. The fact that it wasn’t entirely flexible gave rise to the “iron” element.

But in my own experience life was never that simple. Oddly, if I tried to sacrifice code quality on a project then we would still spend much unplanned time (i.e. long nights) fixing bugs.

In recent years the software movements around agile and lean have taken code quality out of the triangle. Lean, in particular, seeks to eliminate waste which comes predominantly through “re-work” — in other words, going back over things you thought had been finished.

I have found that outlook to be much more practical and productive than reducing code quality, and it’s something I insist on for all my teams. Simply reducing code quality hides problems for later, and that later time is never a time of your choosing. Thus, you usually find yourself fixing problems when you could be making positive progress (or sleeping). Maintaining high quality here ensures consistent progress.

Source: niksilver.com

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