Quality Code: Start Small!
Quality Code: Start Small
Writing software is not simply getting it right the first time. Time and time again, the project changes, evolves, and this means maintaining code over time with potentially different people. While reading other people’s code is difficult, there are all kinds of quality assurance tools that facilitate teams and people writing code together. If you’re planning on adding QA or your project demands it, it can appear to be a daunting task - especially if management doesn’t sign on at first.
First Step - Only take One Step!
Start small. Real small. Set up the project to be able to perform testing and write a single test, or use only a single rule when passing code through that formatting/static analysis tool you’ve always wanted to use. Even using these tools in a tiny capacity has pushed your project towards an increased level of stability and maintainability. Too much at once actually makes it difficult to maintain - your team will be overwhelmed by the changes.
Next comes the difficult part. The biggest challenge in quality assurance is not the tooling, but getting buy-in from your team. Sales minded team members usually like learning about new ways to impress customers, “we perform automated database backups.” Timeline and budget oriented members and management will be pleased to learn that quality assurance improves project turnaround and reduces costly errors.
Improved Quality Assurance is a long-term initiative. Even if using version control is second nature to your development team, running integration tests might not be. Don’t be afraid to pull efforts back to a level that the whole team (including management) can feasibly handle. Over time, it will be such an integral part of the process everyone won’t even remember life without quality assurance.
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