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Code quality for teams

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Jaibeer Malik has posted an introduction of how to address and introduce code quality within a team. His series of posts may suite you if you are in a situation where you have to either learn more yourself or introduce these ideas to others. The series provides a brief overview of the topic and gives pointers in different directions of where to go to study more.

Jaibeer asks:

How many times it has happened to you that when you join a new project and start looking at the code first time or when some new member joins the project then people usually say that what the crap is this code and we need to improve this and that. As time passes you seldom get the chance to correct it and the same thing passes over and over.

He starts off the first post by asking questions like:

  • What to learn to write good code?
  • How can I figure out the code in front of me is of good or bad quality?
  • What are the good or bad code quality factors or criteria?
  • How to approach the code to solve the quality problem?
  • How to transform the bad code into good code?

The series then is organized into three distinctive parts:

Learning OOP, Design Patterns, Clean Code and Refactoring

One of the first things to do to improve the quality of the code a team produces is to help team members learn about the important basics. This part of the series gives guidelines on important things to learn and useful links to good learning material (books, blogs and games).

Measurement Tools

In the Measurement Tools part, Jaibeer explains the reasons to use static code analysis tools.

Static code analysis can help you to figure out the possible coding errors in your software. You can gain real quality improvements in your software by integrating these SCA tools in your development process. What is better than finding these problems during development phase rather than once the software is live.

He lists nine tools that produce different metrics and perspectives on your source code and gives a brief description of each tool. The tools he lists works for Java source code, but even if Java is not the language you use, the overview of tools can still give you insight of what tools can do for you and thereby give you ideas of what to look for on your own platform. There are also recommendations of how to integrate the tools in your build process.

Organizing awareness with in the team

The last part of the series covers how to share the knowledge and awareness within the team. Again, it's a brief but useful starting point for things to think about when you're figuring out how to make the new awareness really stick. Jaibeer gives thoughts on:

  • Pair Programming
  • Wiki
  • Coding Standards Document
  • Mailing List
  • Fixing the issue and letting people know

Use the series as an overview and a starting point, to find out how to dive deeper into the complex topic of code quality for teams.

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