Tools to help measuring code quality

It’s time to start your own code quality metric journey. Don’t wait for the perfect set of metrics but put all stakeholders of code quality around the table and create a version one of your code quality dashboard. 

As we mentioned before it can be easy to collect code quality data but the way you display, analyze and share it is key to your project success. 

In order to do this many tools and solutions start addressing code quality monitoring so let’s find who they are and how they can accelerate your code quality targets.  

CircleCI

It is simple to overlook the need to review code before submitting it to source control. The continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines you use should therefore incorporate these tools. By doing this, you can be certain that every time you commit to source control, your code quality checks are launched. With CircleCI there’s the orbs feature where you can integrate these tools. It is essential to also integrate a strong monitoring of unit test quality, so you are paving the way with an optimum shift left approach for a defect free development lifecycle. 

Duecode https://duecode.io/

Duecode is an analytics dashboard focused on sharing comprehensive code quality data to non tech managers. It checks the contribution of developers individually to find some patterns in your team’s contribution to code quality. This can be more focused on talent management than on improving your code quality processes.   

Crucible

Crucible is Atlassian’s tool to improve code review. As a code review tool you will find some commits, reviews, and comments related metrics in order to improve that part of your process.  

SonarQube

SonarQube is one of the most well known platforms for continuous code quality monitoring and technical debt management and it supports over 20 languages. The upside of its completeness is that if you have a team dedicated to code quality you will be able to leverage the tool for your code quality strategy like no one else. Unfortunately most teams find it is too broad and too dense and end up ignoring the high volume of alerts and notifications you can get across the board. 

Codacy

Codacy helps you monitor your code quality in a customized way by enabling you to set your own standards for each and run functional testing and code quality analysis to see if your project matches the set quality targets. 

Embold

Embold is a code quality focused dashboard to help you spot flaws in your codebase. Different sections focused on security, code issues, code quality metrics and refactoring related analysis are available in their dashboard. It has a growing number of integrations and plugins so you can collect data more easily and export into tasks within your current environment. 

Your code quality journey does not start now. It’s already the accumulation of all micro and macro quality related decisions you have made during your career. Managing it can sometimes feel lonely but you have an unlimited amount of resources available online to support your work and challenge your standpoint.

We hope that this document can help you progress down this road. At the developer Experience team of CircleCI we strongly believe that a complete set of metrics is an unavoidable milestone you need to work toward if you want to get serious about code quality management. Your time, resources, and the size of your team are all part of the formula and it is important that you find what works best for you.

While exploring code quality metrics you will have to find the balance between shareability, lisibility while being knowledgeable about the granularity given by your KPIs and what can be hidden behind them. Pick the KPIs that can help you identify certain steps and that will, as your application evolves, support the continuity of your code quality monitoring. Your code quality dashboard will become an invaluable asset of your team and an aid to improvement in the future. Segmentation, monitoring and analysis will help you identify weaknesses in your development lifecycle and ultimately support your capacity to manufacture robust, time resistant, bug free software. 

References 

The Developer Coefficient-Stripe Harris

Métriques et critères d'évaluation de la qualité du code source d’unlogiciel-PierreMengal

Iso25000.com

Comparison of the SIG Maintainability Model and the Maintainability Index - Frank R. Oppedijk

Sustainable software development

2018 Google Adwords Survey France

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