Refactoring helps to move towards cleaner code that is easier to understand and maintain. It takes practice and experience to recognise code smells: symptoms of bad design which indicate deeper problems in the code. Tools can be helpful to refactor in small steps and prevent breaking the code.
Continuous deployment results in a higher sense of responsibility and better quality of deployments, argues Paul de Raaij, technical pathfinder at Coolblue. Coding standards prevent your code base from becoming a mess, automated inspections are great for tedious and boring checks, and manual checks are great for checking if the logic or use of code actually makes sense.
Models play an important role in developing software for autonomous systems like self-driving cars; they are used to simulate and verify behavior, document the system, and generate code. Jonathan Sprinkle explains how to model software used in autonomous systems, the benefits of modeling, using test data to validate the software that drives a car and techniques for writing reliable code.
Microsoft has open sourced Checked C, a research project meant to add bounds checking to C and C++.
InfoQ interviewed Diomidis Spinellis, author of the books Code Reading and Code Quality, about finding and fixing errors in software, principles for debugging software and how to improve the effectiveness of debugging, how to write code that requires less debugging, and what managers can do to support error prevention and handling.
To write better code, programmers have to apply design fundamentals and read existing code, says Martin Thompson, a Java Champion and high-performance-computing specialist. InfoQ interviewed him after his Engineering You talk at QCon London 2016 about the challenges that the software industry is facing and what programmers can do to deal with those challenges and become better software engineers.
InfoQ interviewed Adam Tornhill, author of Your Code as a Crime Scene, about software evolution and mining social information from code and how to use this to increase the understanding of large codebases, how to create a geographical profile of code, and the benefits that can be gained from techniques like mining social information and geographical profiling.
InfoQ interviewed Boris Modylevsky about the importance of measuring code quality and how measurements can be used to improve quality, integrating static code analysis in continuous integration, testing coverage and test automation, and the benefits that continuous integration with integrated code analysis and test coverage can bring.
Uncle Bob proposes an oath to software programmers as other professions have, considering the importance of this craftsmanship.
InnerSource is the name given to a development approach that applies open source software practices to the way organizations' develop software internally. Cedric Williams, technology leader at PayPal, explained how PayPal is experimenting with InnerSource to break down silos, grow collaboration and increase productivity.
Olaf Lewitz gave a keynote about Integral Quality at the Agile Testing Day Netherlands 2015. InfoQ asked Lewitz about quality attributes, what causes poor quality software, the relationship between the structure and culture of the organization and software quality and about clarifying intent and increasing trust.
Hans van Wezep, software architect at Philips Healthcare, talked about model-based migration at the Bits&Chips Software Engineering conference. InfoQ did an interview with van Wezep about the challenges in maintaining legacy software, why manual refactoring is error prone, using models to refactor and migrate a codebase, and the benefits of using models when maintaining legacy software.
Computer-checked models can be used to prove that core communications and state management in a software program are 100% logically correct. Such models can also be used to generate 100% correct source code. The usage of formal methods can reduce costs and time to market and help to deliver highly reliable software products.
At Unruly teams have been applying eXtreme Programming (XP) since being founded in 2006. Teams take a test-first approach to developing code and invest in automated checks that can be run in live environments. InfoQ interviewed Rachel Davies about the importance of a continuous approach to testing, how this has evolved over the years and the business advantage that it delivers to Unruly.
At EclipseCon, the automated error reporting and UI freeze detecting tool - built into Eclipse Mars - was demonstrated. Having only been in the package for a short while, it has already helped identify and subsequently fix a number of problems. InfoQ spoke to the people behind the tools to find out more.