Oh, that feeling of having the rug pulled from under your feet and your heart skipping three beats…
… when you discover you have issues with your code structure and architecture. The problem takes 3 months to fix, but you’re 3 weeks from launch.
Let’s avoid that — and it starts with a code audit.
What’s a Code Audit?
A software code audit involves a thorough code review that analyzes a project’s core technologies and architecture. It helps you uncover out-of-date tools, assess security risks, and discover poor development practices so you can prevent issues from festering into show-stopping problems.
A code audit isn’t just for a product in development. Consider conducting one if your software or app is becoming obsolete, having performance issues, or hasn’t had a code review for 6 months or more.
The process typically involves an examination of the current technology stack and code architecture, a security analysis to uncover vulnerabilities, a check for code quality, performance, and scalability, and detection of potential maintenance issues.
The Benefits of Code Audits For Your Business
A code audit gives you insights to improve the quality, maturity, and maintainability of your digital product. Sure, the nerdy side of us likes to make software better just for the sake of it. But there’s also a solid business case for having a code audit.
Uncover Potential Issues To Avoid Costly Fixes
A code audit helps you find existing and potential bugs lurking in the codebase. If you release a product with these issues, the bugs may impact the product’s functionality, lead to costly downtime, and affect the user experience later on.
You can also uncover outdated technologies that are being phased out and update the software before issues emerge. You may even get insights and recommendations on how to upgrade the technology stack to increase the product’s longevity.
A code audit allows you to identify bugs that aren’t apparent right now but may turn into costly problems further down the road. Not to mention, if the issues are severe, you could risk losing customers and eroding your reputation — which can be particularly devastating if you have a subscription-based business model.
Ensure Scalability To Support Growth and Expansion
Your product must be scalable to accommodate more users without compromising performance to support business growth. It should remain stable as it adapts to upgrades, overhauls, resource reduction, etc.
A code audit at the development stage can help determine if the software or app is ready for scaling. You can find out if it can handle more workloads, accommodate future updates, sustain a high level of performance, have room to expand its capabilities, and support your business’s vision and product roadmap.
A code audit performed early in the development process helps ensure that the product won’t break when you scale it up in the future. Such scalability can also help you lower maintenance costs, achieve higher agility, and deliver a better user experience.
Improve Security To Prevent Breaches
We don’t have to tell you how important data security is for preventing unauthorized access, loss of sensitive information, data theft, fraud, data corruption, etc. All these issues can bring your business to a grinding halt, tarnish your reputation, cause customers to leave your platform, and even land you in legal hot waters.
A weak codebase can lead to vulnerabilities that malicious actors can exploit to breach your system and steal your data. Performing regular code audits can help you identify and fix security issues based on the latest best practices to help ensure that you’re keeping your business and customers safe.
You can also get recommendations on potential security issues and proactively implement fixes to pre-empt future problems. This approach can put you in a better position to defend your system while reducing bug fixing costs down the line.
Maintain Consistency To Facilitate Progress
Chances are, multiple developers are involved in building your software. Each would likely have a unique programming style, and if you leave all the discrepancies as-is, you could end up with a patchwork of code that may hamper collaboration, overall progress, and ease of maintenance.
A code audit helps you check for compliance with coding standards to ensure consistent design and implementation. Regular code review can help standardize the source code, so every developer who joins your team can understand it to become productive quickly.
A high level of consistency can also help streamline future maintenance and new feature development. For example, high-quality code means there’s less technical debt. Team members can focus on building new capabilities instead of analyzing existing code, troubleshooting bugs, and putting out fires.
Increase Maintainability To Lower Ongoing Costs
Let’s say you bought a house that costs you $10,000 less, but you have to shell out $500 a month to fix the plumbing because it isn’t well-constructed and breaks all the time. The money you saved up front won’t even pay for 2 years of repair! And we aren’t even counting the trouble, downtime, and frustration.
The same goes for software development. Low-quality code can cost you a lot to maintain in the long run. Using obsolete or inappropriate technologies often makes it hard to upgrade the software or add new functionalities. You may even have to tear down the product and rebuild it from the ground up!
If your codebase doesn’t meet modern software development standards and best practices, you’ll likely need to spend more on maintenance. Not to mention, a low-quality codebase is like a time bomb — you don’t know when it could go wrong or how much money and resources it’d take to fix the issues. Your finance department certainly won’t appreciate the unpredictability!
Incorporate a Code Audit Into Your Product Development Plan
While you should conduct regular code audits for any software product or app, the process is particularly beneficial during the development phase. In fact, it should be an integral part of your product strategy and web/app development cycle.
You can catch issues early and avoid unnecessary frustration and expenses in the future. Not to mention, code audits can help your team enhance collaboration, improve learning, verify codes promptly, and streamline the development process.
To get the most of a code audit, work with a third party for an unbiased perspective. An expert team can also offer insights on the latest technologies and best practices. You can stay ahead of the game by implementing updates to set the product up for long-term success.
Not sure where to get your code audit process going? Don’t worry! Get in touch, and we can help you get started.
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