Importance of having a solid code base
Building a software product or business solution is much like constructing a house; you need a good, solid foundation that lets you scale and make improvements when needed. A solid code base is fundamental to ensure scalability and allows you to future-proof your code (and business) to adapt to a dynamic market.
Before we talk about a solid code base and its benefits, we need to define what that is:
It’s functional. If any piece of software isn’t able to do what its supposed to do, it's useless.
It’s robust. A robust software should not lose its availability even in most failure states. Even if some components are broken down, it should still function.
It’s easy to change. It all starts with the question; “what if we need to add a feature X here…” Good code should be easy to change with minimum effort..
You can measure it. It should be possible to see how well the code is doing outside of a test environment. Usually, the best measures are how the software can facilitate the business needs.
It’s easy to maintain. You’ll know if your software is easy to maintain if it has consistent styling, good comments, etc. A good style can make it easier to modify parts of the code without wrecking it.
You can test it. In other words, the code has been written in such a way that automated tests have been or at least could be created to ensure that each component of code does what it’s supposed to do.
What are some of the benefits of a good software architecture?
It may be tempting to ‘acquire’ some technical debt in order to achieve a faster time to market. This is especially true when it comes to consumer facing technologies. However, there are good arguments and advantages to investing resources in a solid code base.
It makes your platform scalable. Remember that feature X the user requested a few months ago, we need to add it now.
Mitigate risks. Helps reduce the chance of catastrophic failure when implementing and / or adding changes to the code.
Helps reduce costs. For instance, the architecture may show that multiple database systems could be changed so only one product is used, reducing software and support costs.
Why is it important from a business perspective to have a solid code base?
From a value proposition standpoint, the code structure / architecture must be well thought and designed in order to enable company growth. A good software architect understands business goals and objectives, and at the same time, is able to manage multiple stakeholders involved in the project, product and/or company.
Achieving product market-fit is crucial for any company of any size and one key indicator of achieving PMF is retention. Let’s say you launched a new feature that is set to revolutionize the industry, you’ve hyped the market and on launch day, you have a system crash caused by overload. This is a very simple example of what could happen when too much technical debt is assumed without a good plan to ‘pay off the debt’.
A winning combination: product management + extreme proximity
Framework Science is a product-first company, and as such, our senior staff engineers are driven by market trends, and have a keen eye to detect business opportunities (they also speak up whenever they think something can be done differently).
With an engineering center just 30 miles south of downtown San Diego, we can meet with project stakeholders (managers and end users) on a days notice. If you’re interested in learning more, give us shout!
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