Achieving a bug free software factory

Accelerated code quality is the key to software’s new industrial revolution

Edmond Aouad
© Shutterstock / Visual Generation

The industrialization of the software industry might enable them to build code with less resources, but success can only be achieved if developers can figure out how to write code efficiently without sacrificing code quality in the process. Thanks to the power of early accelerated testing, Ponicode is able to increase developers’ productivity while also improving the quality of their code.

Regardless of industry or size, all companies are now experiencing some sort of digital transformation, and as such developers have never been under more pressure to deliver high-quality software and keep the pace. Software is a game-changing asset for those innovative enough to leverage it, but the lack of available workforce to support software needs as companies struggle to innovate faster and better than their competitors is forcing businesses to contemplate new ways to build software at scale. The industrialization of the software industry might enable them to build code with less resources, but success can only be achieved if developers can figure out how to write code efficiently without sacrificing code quality in the process. This is where Ponicode comes in. Since 2019, Ponicode has worked on accelerating code quality for all developers, enabling high-quality innovation at scale through exhaustive code testing. Thanks to the power of early accelerated testing, Ponicode is able to increase developers’ productivity while also improving the quality of their code.

In this digital whirlwind, companies are expected to take the lead on digitalization and IT leaders push their engineers to manage the increasing demand to produce software, but they do so without offering adequate resources to their teams. Quality defects are the dreaded unavoidable consequences of this unbalance. A 2018 Stripe & Harris study claims that software bugs present an extraordinary financial cost to the industry, to the tune of $85 billion dollars per year even though developers already spend on average 17 hours on code maintenance. This is why the Ponicode platform focuses on enabling coverage catch up and accelerating quality-as-you-code. At Ponicode, we have developed a shift-left friendly platform where developers can reduce tenfold the time spent on writing tests and increase the exhaustivity and robustness of their test files thanks to AI suggested scenarios. We believe that companies and their developers can systematically reach a high level of quality on their past and present code without sacrificing time and resources, but only if they are equipped with the right tools.

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When one tries to grasp the global impact of poor code quality, they only need to look at the headlines of the past year (Log4J, Solarwinds, Microsoft Exchange) to begin to understand the repercussions of software flaws on the industry. Their impact on profit and brand reputation can be beyond repair. Weak quality in a company’s legacy code (i.e source code from older versions of software) is one of the most common reasons for these breaches. We found in most companies including leading software manufacturers that legacy code has not been maintained at the proper level and is generating a monumental amount of technical debt. In 2010, Gartner estimated that the total amount of technical debt worldwide could reach $1 trillion, and this figure has only proportionally increased along with the pace of digitalization in the last decade. As a result, 75% of software on the market contain security flaws according to the State of Software Security Study published in 2020, 24% of which are considered to be severe. The more reasons to grant more resources to actively preventing bugs and flaws in the codebase instead of damage controlling them once they arise in production. Without a significant shift toward producing industrial-grade quality at scale, the industry is doomed to leave users, management and developers frustrated by faulty unscalable software production. Ponicode supports companies in reducing the risk of operating on top of untested legacy code. We not only reduce the amount of resources companies need to invest into technical debt management but we also create more confidence and speed when it comes to coding on top of the legacy code.

What does it take to experience a bug free software factory and why is this so difficult to achieve?

Overall, the industry has started to put more effort into addressing issues of code quality, with new processes aimed at finding all flaws as quickly and early on in the development lifecycle as possible. With a zero-defect goal, some new viable approaches such as shifting left or test driven development are currently being promoted by quality-focused stakeholders. Yet many of these new approaches are still highly time and resource consuming and they rely on inadequate KPIs and heterogeneous understanding and monitoring of code quality. Beyond automated unit tests, the Ponicode platform aims to become a code quality enabler, no matter which step of the software development lifecycle developers are at. We are distributing solutions to create bulletproof quality gates in the CI/CD pipeline and are enabling better monitoring of the most relevant code quality KPIs thanks to the Ponicode dashboard. With our enterprise licenses, we empower software vendors to avoid critical delays by catching up on their project quality under time constraints.

We also believe that accelerated code quality is a developer happiness enabler. Reducing repetitive and tedious quality-related tasks helps developers to refocus on innovation and creativity, thus improving their day-to-day. For developers, the frustration of quality processes sacrificed against tight deadlines adds up to the code quality conundrum. How are they to do better if they have not been given the resources to follow best practices? Why should developers care about quality, when the speed with which they deliver their code is better rewarded? Companies withholding the means and the tools for developers to perform best practice coding are paving the way for developer frustration, demotivation and eventually accelerated staff turnover. The way out of this code quality dilemma is to support software developers with adequate software development solutions. Numerous low-code solutions aiming at relieving developers’ from redundant tasks are available on the market. Ponicode, amongst others (Sourcery, Codacy and Tricentis, to name a few), aim to accelerate different dimensions of code quality.

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As companies experience the short and long term deterioration of their software resulting from lack of investment in code quality, we hope to educate developers and their managers on the benefits of code quality tooling. Let’s hope that these new solutions will lead to the quick adoption of best practices and increase the robustness and sustainability of the software industry as a whole. While the number of accelerating or automating development tools is booming, the companies who decide to catch this wave of innovation and shift into this new industrial revolution early on will be capable of building a strong competitive advantage and grab market shares at a higher pace than previously possible. This presents an exciting opportunity where we could see new innovative companies overtake the more stagnant players in the software industry, but only if they invest in the tools.


Edmond Aouad

Edmond Aouad is co-founder and chief product officer at Ponicode. After graduating with a degree in data science from one of the top engineering schools in France, he began his diverse career by leading several entrepreneurial projects and has since devoted himself to advising large companies on their data projects and integration of machine learning. His acute expertise in artificial intelligence powered solutions is currently being used to support the development of code quality enabling features and the growth of the Ponicode platform capabilities.

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