Software Intelligence: How to Take Quality Control in 6 Practical Steps | Hacker Noon


Lead Photo by Max Duzij on Unsplash

There are 6 practical steps below that every engineering team should follow to take control of their software quality. And if you want to level up in managing your software health and development efficiency, check out the bonus section, and meet the software intelligence.

All product teams want to deliver high quality products to the end-users in order to meet customer needs and enhance customer satisfaction. Therefore, the engineering teams try to build more reliable, more secure, more stable and high-performance software and systems.

1. Track And Visualize Coding Activities

The Software development process is a black-box. If you want to see inside the box, you should try to focus on the development activities of your team, such as code commits, pushes, pull/merge requests, and code review cycles. Visualizing these activities provides actionable insights into your development processes, helps you to identify bottlenecks, reduce lead time, and increase development efficiency.

Check out Git analytics and pull request analytics tools such as QA Dashboard, Pluralsight Flow, and GitHub Insight.

2. Analyze Source Code Quality

You can consider code quality as the cornerstone of software quality. Check out the action plan below to enable continuous inspection of code quality.

  • Enable on-the-fly code analysis by using IDE extensions.
  • Analyze your code as a part of the CI/CD pipeline.
  • Set quality gates and break the builds.
  • Track all issues and make them visible.
  • Encourage developers to talk about clean code principles, coding standards, etc.
  • Plan code quality tasks for each sprint.

Check out the code analysis tools such as SonarQube, CAST, Fortify, etc. and try to integrate them into your CI/CD pipeline.

3. Care About Code Vulnerabilities

You probably have some security-related issues in your codebase, but you don’t care about them until they have discovered by attackers. Employ a Static Application Security Testing (SAST) tool in order to analyze your code, detect issues, and own them to solve.

Check out the SAST tools like SonarQube, Checkmarx, WhiteSource and Fortify, and try to integrate them on your CI/CD pipelines.

4. Test What You Code

It’s not possible to know that if your software is working properly without testing it. Consider increasing your test coverage by enabling various test types such as unit testing, integration testing, API testing, UI testing, and functional testing.

Check out the testing practices, frameworks, and tools to test what you code. Furthermore, consider using test management tools such as Testinium, Zephyr, TestRail, etc. to monitor test execution results.

5. Monitor Application Performance

Application performance monitoring tools help you understand which problems your end users are facing (customer satisfaction metrics, APDEX score, etc.) and which problems you have in your application or system (response time, error rate, infrastructure metrics, etc.).

Check out the APM tools such as New Relic, Dynatrace, and AppDynamics.

6. Make Your Issues Visible

A software development process always produces issues in all stages of the application life cycle. You should capture, assign, and track the issues, and also you should make them visible. Keep your issues under control, don’t let them hide from you.

Manage your issues on the tools such as Jira, Azure DevOps, GitHub, and GitLab.

BONUS: Meet Software Intelligence

After these practical steps, we need to talk about a new concept to overcome some difficulties.

DevOps toolchain of an organization includes many tools in order to manage, maintain and operate all the engineering processes.

Therefore, engineering managers should log in to many different tools, find their projects/teams, get relevant metrics of the projects/teams, and map them all in their brains in order to see the health and efficiency of their software and teams.

At this point, software intelligence is here for you. Software intelligence provides a complete platform to take control of software quality, identify bottlenecks of the entire development process, and produce actionable metrics in order to help you improve your software and team performance.

All the tools you use, all the analysis you perform in DevOps, help you get a deeper level of software intelligence. And software intelligence helps you get rid of misinformation and disinformation about your product development process.

Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

Software intelligence (SI) platforms help organizations deliver faster, high-quality products by connecting their own SDLC/ALM tools. These connections enable real-time monitoring of the entire software development life cycle and analyze coding activities to measure development productivity.

By enabling software intelligence, you get complete visibility into your software health and development efficiency in a single platform.

Accessing real-time data and insights on developers, teams and products makes you more confident in taking actions on product development and engineering processes.

Let The Power Be With You

If you want to take control of software quality and build a high-performing technology organization, it’s time to meet software intelligence.

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