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How to improve code quality, from teamwork to AI features

Last updated:November 2019

Editor's note

Software developers feel pressure to write code and build applications faster than ever. But dev teams that don't properly manage and secure application code only guarantee two things: poor-quality apps and more work later to fix them.

When they follow effective code management practices, developers build apps that are easier to maintain, manage and measure for performance metrics. As DevOps and DevSecOps change fundamental roles, developers need to focus on how to improve code quality and keep security top of mind. These coding practices help to achieve business-wide objectives and reduce risk, and they also ease collaboration and cut back on time spent on redundant programming activities.

Not only can better dev processes foster readable, reusable proprietary code, but they also support open source code management and implementation. Open source components are commonplace in many apps, so developers must understand the security and compliance ramifications of the external content they use.

Learn how to improve code quality with the expert advice in this essential guide. Once your team has a grasp of how to manage and maintain code, it can experiment with advanced tools and platforms, and perhaps even use AI in software development to help get apps to production more quickly.

1Coding standards and practices

Software developers must adhere to coding practices and standards. Aside from standard coding conventions around the programming language, frameworks and documentation, project managers and product owners must build a set of coding rules designed to deliver a high-quality experience for users. Ensure that good and bad practices are easily understood by the entire dev team, and follow this advice to improve code quality via thorough guidelines and reviews.

2Code quality metrics and security

Tasks that traditionally went to test and security engineers now fall partially on developers' to-do lists. Dev teams can't ignore any bugs or vulnerabilities in the source code; they must take an active role to identify and remediate them. Use code quality metrics and code analysis tools to assess the value and efficiency of a team's programming efforts. And teach the team to embrace new security responsibilities to avoid catastrophe later.

3Open source code management

Nearly every application relies on open source components to some degree, but how well do developers assess and maintain them? Open source code management is no simple task, but it's a necessary one, from implementation to licensing to maintenance. Security vulnerabilities in open source code create a problem expected to grow in the near future, so developers must take the proper steps to reduce risk.

4AI-assisted coding

Software development tool vendors figure to reinvent how programmers do their work. As AI technology matures, developers can see new features and functionality in integrated development environments and low-code platforms, particularly around code completion, suggestions and reviews. While AI's full capability might still lie beyond the horizon, developers can use AI assists right now to get work done faster. Learn more about AI development features, whether they can improve code quality and where the technology is headed.

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