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How to Ensure Code Quality in Product Development
Parimal 30 Mar 2018

software developmentIn the constantly changing technological landscape, the companies that can leverage the developments in newest digital advances like machine learning, IoT, analytics, cloud , agile, big data, AI and digital transformation will have the competitive advantage. While developing disruptive products, the companies have to keep in focus the below aspects:

  • Product development is never complete
  • User experience is paramount for the success of product
  • Decisions critically depend on business intelligence and data
  • The product has to be scalable
  • In-premise is no longer effective, cloud is the new normal

While some organizations are able to meet their needs with in-house talent, others may have to rely on an offshore technology partner. However, while zeroing on a partner, one needs to ensure that the partner will be able to maintain the quality of the product and privacy of information. The countries that top the list of software outsourcing destinations include:

India
Philippines
Malaysia
Russia
China

India is one of the most preferred destinations for outsourcing software development. It has topped the Global Services Location Index (GSLI) 2017 of A.T. Kearney – the world’s leading global management consultancy firm, for the eighth consecutive year. India has a large pool of qualified resources, offers cost arbitrage and multiple flexible engagement models – all these factors earn the brownie points for the country and make it the most preferred outsourcing destination for the businesses.

However, while outsourcing to offshore destinations, one major concern for the organizations is to ensure the code quality. Following evaluation parameters would help in evaluating the capability of your outsourcing vendor.

Evaluating the technology partner

Portfolio analysis: Have a thorough analysis of the software development partner’s portfolio. Look at the innovative digital technologies they used for the product and software development. Also, look at their testimonials and case studies to get a fair idea of their credibility and capability.

Technical competency: You need to assess the competency of the vendor about various frontend and backend frameworks. In an offshore environment, capabilities in CI and CD (continuous integration and continuous delivery) are of vital importance for the faster release of products. Agile practices like daily standups and sprint demos are of crucial importance for outsourced projects.

Testing and analytics: Testing is vital for a smooth user experience. Your vendor should keep you updated of the latest development stage and the bugs fixed during the development cycle. They should also provide you access to analytics so that any issues can be fixed in good time.

You should also ask about the coding conventions used by the vendor. Ask the vendor about how they prepare the test cases, what is their defect acceptance and rejection rate, ideal test coverage and how they fix the bugs. This will help you assess the capability of the vendor to deliver you the kind of code quality you are looking for.

For those into manual testing, you need to check which all testing methods they are employing, like:

  • Integration testing
  • Usability testing
  • Unit testing
  • Performance testing
  • Regression testing
  • Cross browser testing, etc.

A good outsourcing partner will test the product across multiple devices for its consistent performance. Tools like Appium, See Test, Selenium and Protractor are important for automation testing and your vendor should be using them for code testing purpose. You should also check the competency of the team that will be working on your project.

Ensuring code quality

Here are the key pointers that you should consider to ensure the code quality at the vendor’s end.

Readability: The code needs to be written using the best practices and should be self-explanatory. It needs to be well formatted and easy to maintain and optimize.

Documentation: The code should have comments for the easy understanding of the roles and functions by the programmers. Documentation helps in quickly putting the code to test.

Testing: The code needs to be tested after being written. TesOps ensures that the bugs are detected early at the development phase and fixed in good time.

Maintenance: Iterative nature of the product development projects makes it hard for the offshore team working on it to rework the code. Its context should be easy to understand and the code should be easy to maintain as well.

Communication: Regular communication and transparency are important for the success of an offshore project. A communication plan should be put into place to discuss the development of the product. Regular feedback and two-way communication will help in the timely completion of the project. Skype, Google Hangout and Fleep are the popular means of communication between the client and the vendor working on offshore project. A daily standup with the offshore team will help in identifying the hurdles and smoothen the product development phase. Best agile practices should be used to overcome any communication challenges.

Expectations related to the code quality should be set from the onset because the output quality will depend on the initial expectations set during the sprint planning. This will also result in the high productivity of the team.

Post release testing

Testing is not only crucial during the product development lifecycle, it is equally important when the product is live. During every new feature release, the product should be put to rigorous testing. Release verification, reporting of issues found in the production, data clean up, reporting of verification results and monitoring are important activities of post release and go live testing.

Offshore vendors providing managed services take care of the maintenance of the product even after it goes live. In addition to checking the new feature releases and quality of code, the vendor may also conduct performance monitoring. Applications have evolved from being stand alone to cloud based elastic ones. Tools such as Stackify Retrace, New Relic and Miniprofiler are good to go for performance monitoring.

Technology led products are in high demand among the users these days. To achieve shorter development cycle and faster time to market, companies often resort to offshore development. However, the quality needs to be maintained for a great end-user experience. Regular testing of the code even after its release ensures improved user experience.

Parimal
He has over 16 years of experience working on various Microsoft Technologies projects. He has hands on expertise of developing and delivering some of the most challenging Microsoft Technologies assignments with professional acumen. Being a seasoned professional, Parimal has deep understanding of the domain and delivers customized solutions to the clients to meet their project and business objectives.
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