Low quality code can be an additional cost in the development of the site and, even
worse, whole business. Many entrepreneurs have no idea about programming or
cannot get help from a technical person in this area either. Luckily, you can check
code quality by yourself. Wondering how? Just follow the instructions specified in
Firstly – prevention
Before starting cooperation with a programmer, it is worth checking a potential employee
for the quality of the code one creates. How to do it? It`s best to ask to provide a code
sample privately or through a Github-like service. Check the code with the obtained key or
ask an experienced programmer for an initial assessment.
What affects the poor code quality?
There are several elements that affect the bad code quality. And in fact, programmer’s
negligence is not always the main one. You, as the commissioner, can also contribute to
lowering the quality of the code by:
- too short delivery time,
- badly planned project, specification prepared in the rush,
- poor estimation of the project’s scope and budget, so the programmer adds
additional changes within the same budget,
- where there are six programmers, there is also…. code smell – try to keep a well-
known, permanent team,
- the project / cooperation with you is one-off, which reduces commitment,
- learn the basics of programming language, in which your project is being carried
Why is poor code that bad?
There are several reasons and all have a negative impact on business:
- code development and maintenance is expensive,
- it may be necessary to rewrite the project from scratch,
- it’s hard to find programmers willing to work with poor quality code,
- can cease or slow down business development,
- reduced safety,
- generates bugs, which are hard to identify and fix.
Clutter in the code
Open few files and look closely at the code. If instead of a nice, regularly formatted text
that you do not understand at all…you see a mess that you cannot even read, understand,
interpret at all
nor see any logic – then inform the contractor about your concerns.
Names and naming convention
If you’ve somehow dealt with programming, you know what functions and variables are. If
you are not familiar with those, 5 minutes of reading some guide will allow you to
recognize functions, classes, variables in tested code. What should alarm you:
Entries not in English,
incomprehensible names eg: xyz () instead of addUser (),
inconsistency in formatting, e.g. function name, function_name, functionName.
<! – Too many comments ->
It might seem that / * comments in the code describing the procedure of everything * /
seems like a good practice. Well, not exactly, especially if the contractor had problems in
the previous paragraph and tried to catch up using comments. Ultimately, the code should
be understandable without an additional description. Comments should only be used when
that is not possible.
Enough frameworks is enough
The contractor advises the use of many different frameworks? If so, it is worth considering
whether all of them are necessary. Duplicating frameworks that perform the same tasks is
the easiest way that leads to complicated code. As a result, the site will be heavier and
more prone to failure.
New techologies or oldies, but goldies
It is very easy to check whether the contractor will use the framework he learned X years
ago (and he is still trying to push it into customers), or trying to convince us to innovate. In
both cases this may lead us to maintenance problems regarding our website.
Check the way the repository is run
In the case of creating websites, I would not require a repository, but if you have access to
one, it will allow you to keep track of the progress of work. Also after the so-called
„commits” and their description, you can assess how the project is run. If the description of
the single „commit” is meaningless and does not provide any information, it may be difficult
to find in the future.
Ask for tests
In the case of applications, unit tests should be written at the same time. Their task is to
speed up code checks. Moreover, they additionally enforce more attention to code quality
If I’ve just framed your programmer ….
because I motivated you to inspect code quality, I apologize for the problem. Depending
on your contracts and obligations, you should indicate the sources of code smell, outline a
recovery plan and what’s important, implement it as soon as possible, not to continue into
the dead end.
And finally, I wish you successful projects with high quality code. 🙂