IT projects often take the approach of building first and asking questions later. Why spend time double-checking when product updates need shipping?
In fact, postponing code inspection and bug fixes isn’t the best thing to do, especially since you as a founder are most interested in the code being clean. For you, evaluating code quality on your own might be difficult. Fortunately, there’s a solution to this problem. Learn how third-party code audit brings value to your product and why it’s important.
Table of Contents
- What is Code Audit
- What is NOT Code Audit
- When You Need a Code Audit Service
- Benefits of Third-Party Code Audit for Business
- Final Thoughts
What is Code Audit
Code audit is a service that involves a comprehensive examination of software and web/mobile applications, review of their architecture, style, security, and efficiency. It’s aimed at identifying all the weaknesses, threats, and vulnerabilities in the source code that may affect the performance and ongoing development of your product. Professional code audit performed by external specialists gives a fresh and unbiased view of your solution and helps avoid future problems with it.
What is NOT Code Audit
Before undertaking a code audit, you need to know what it is and what it isn't. A misunderstanding may arise due to differences in terminology.
Peer Code Review
Code review suggests that teammates examine each other’s pieces of code and provide comments pointing out individual errors. In contrast, code audit is a service delivered by third parties aimed to detect large-scale system problems in your software.
Within source code audit service, specialists check the product, identify the problems, and only give advice on resolving them so that your team makes improvements. Debugging involves catching specific bugs and making fixes in the code, and for that, you need custom software development services.
When You Need a Code Audit Service
There’s one common condition: you must at least have some code to be audited. Let’s focus on particular cases when this service is necessary.
If Legacy Systems are Used
Technologies and requirements get outdated with time, especially in such a fast-paced industry like software development. Outdated software, hardware, programming languages, and technologies that are still in use are called legacy systems. They still fulfill their direct purpose but are difficult and - let’s face it - useless to update due to compatibility problems.
Code audit identifies cases of legacy systems usage and proposes ways to optimize your solution according to modern requirements.
When You Have Tech Debt
When your business grows, the software product needs to grow with it. The problem is, from a product development perspective, when ‘done’ is preferable to ‘perfect’, poor results start to stack up. Over time, software projects develop technical debt. Tech debt is the code that has to be written tomorrow because there’ve been shortcuts to deliver software today. This results in mediocre code and the same quality solution.
If You Receive User Complaints
If users are complaining about the product, developers are tired of trying to fix the problems, and a roadmap isn't moving forward quickly, chances are the code needs auditing. If users leave complaints and low rates on public platforms, you’ll get fewer downloads in the future. People prefer highly rated apps and don’t even consider one with a 3-star rating, Apptentive study showed, so do the math.
When Developing the Product
Even highly experienced developers can miss something, which is why double-checking is always a good idea. With the help of an external code audit service, you can get an expert opinion on the quality of code delivered by your software developers, spot the problems, and detect technical debt at the early stages of development when it’s less expensive to fix it - big mistakes later result in bigger costs.
Before a Product Launch
A third-party code review ensures that your application is ready to launch and that users won’t find any critical bugs or have security concerns. Launching an application that’s full of errors, has security flaws, or gives users a poor experience can be a nightmare and cause you serious reputation damage.
Benefits of Third-Party Code Audit for Business
Although an internal code review by your in-house specialists can be a viable option, bringing in outside expertise holds essential benefits.
Supports Decision Making
Code audit simplifies making long-term decisions about a software product, what features to build, how to improve the architecture, and other choices that make a big impact on how business evolves.
Gives a Fresh Perspective
A new perspective is in short supply in a team that developed the product. Any specialist has their eyes blurred when working on the same code for too long, so an independent reviewer may notice things that get missed due to such biases.
External software audit allows the business and developers to concentrate on performing more high-priority tasks, saving their time and effort.
How to Audit Software Without Hampering the Development
The audit is no obstacle for the development process - it’s aimed at supporting development. With that in mind, follow these pieces of advice.
Keep It to the Point
Before performing the audit, define the scope and risk areas that need to be investigated. This will save the reviewer’s time and will help to ensure that all critical areas are reviewed.
Audit Your Software Regularly
If you are constantly developing your software product, running regular audits will help you prevent problems early and will save you from many headaches in the future. How often should you carry out a code audit? It depends. For large and complex solutions involving many developers, we recommend conducting a code audit every 6 months. Otherwise, once a year should be just enough to keep your code up-to-date.
How We at Anadea Perform Code Audit
- You need to contact us and request a code audit service.
- Give us access to your source code repository.
- Our specialists will perform a code audit with tools specific to the programming languages used.
- In 3-5 days, you’ll receive a detailed source code audit report featuring an exhaustive analysis of various aspects of your code, a list of identified issues, and further recommendations for fixing them and improving the source code quality.
With the results of our review, you’ll have a clearer idea of how stable, easy to maintain and scale, and how secure the code is.
Hasty architecture decisions, security breaches, messy code, and other technical debt issues missed at the early coding stages can lead to significant rework in the future. That’s why getting a regular audit and improving the code while the code base is smaller can make the difference between the success and failure of your growing business.
Anadea’s proficient software engineers will gladly look through your source code to assess its scalability, maintainability, and security for your future success!