Why are metrics and measurement in software engineering important? Developers and company managers always worry about their final project’s quality. While the engineers simply want to provide the best service, business owners prioritize their success and customer loyalty. Sometimes this may cause disagreements. That’s why every entrepreneur needs to know about the main metrics that define software quality.
Reasons to use software quality metrics
Before we dive into the IT world with all its quality metrics, it is better to start with their purpose. Why do you even need to use these tools? Let’s take a closer look at the main advantages of software metrics:
Productivity. One of the most valuable aspects of an app is fast data processing. The less time it spends on performing the tasks, the better. Some metrics help to increase and track the project’s productivity and solve urgent issues.
Decision making. Such metrics can come in handy when estimating the influence of the decisions made. PMs and CEOs can sort out objectives, priorities, and avoid impulsive resolutions. It helps them to make deliberate compromises, optimize the project, and achieve the goals of software quality assurance.
Data sorting. You can use metrics to reduce misunderstandings and ambiguities in complex projects. Through the software organization, you will get objective information.
Priorities. With metrics, managers will no longer have difficulties while tracking, identifying, or prioritizing the project’s issues. They can communicate at all the organization’s levels.
Progress management. Is the project meeting the schedule? Is everything going well? It is important to control the work’s progress and result, and always have answers to these questions. Such metrics show the software product’s status as well as its quality and changes it in.
Management strategy. There are some risks that you have to instantly estimate, control, and prioritize. Metrics help to manage such issues and avoid future costly solutions. They determine errors and correct technical parts of the project as well as facilitate management strategies.
Why do software quality metrics matter?
Why is the quality in software engineering that important? In 2020, there is almost no niche where you will not have competitors. That’s why every company fights for each client and constantly strives to improve its service and products. Quality is one of the most important aspects that attract customers. It applies not only to the product itself but also to your application, website, chatbot, delivery, and support services. If you want to have the consumer’s full attention, you have to be professional in everything you do. That’s why quality is one of the most valuable aspects of a product.
A lot of team members such as engineers, testers, and designers control the product’s quality. Throughout the development process, high quality should be the number one goal. Quality metrics are the best tools to check if your app is ready for the market. If it has no bugs, is not slow, and does not glitch, it is time to release the Kraken.
Aspects of software quality
Reliability. By analyzing the number of defects, you will see how well the software will work and how long the system will run smoothly without crashing. If you want to have a robust codebase, low defect count is especially important.
Maintainability. Is it difficult to maintain your software? Let’s find it out using the structure, size, complexity, and consistency metrics that analyze the codebase. It is also important to check the testability and understandability.
Testability. How well does the product support the testing? It depends on how well you control, automate, isolate, and observe the testing process.
Portability. It shows if you can use the software in various environments. There are no tools that can show the project’s portability, but there are some means to do it. The best option is to test the code on various platforms without waiting until the end of the development.
Reusability. To check if you can use the assets such as code again, use metrics that measure the number of interdependencies. The reusability depends on the availability of the modularity or loose coupling.
Code quality metrics: What metrics to choose?
When you already understand the benefits, it is time to take a closer look at the types. What kind of metrics is the most important for your project? It depends on your ideas, service, goals, and numerous other aspects. We have compiled a list of some of the approaches to improve software quality, but we do not advise improvising. Consulting professionals such as DICEUS is better if you want a list of metrics tailored to your business. And now, let’s define software metrics:
An agile metric is useful when you want to improve the development process. It takes into account lead and cycle time, velocity, as well as open and close percentage.
Lead time. This is the time the engineers spend to come up with ideas, design, develop, and finish the software project. When you shorten the time, you can release the product faster and get the consumer’s attention. Since they will not be made to wait for a long time, their loyalty will increase.
Cycle time. It can be difficult to grasp the difference between these two definitions, but they are not the same. The cycle period starts with the app’s development and ends when it is complete, while the lead time starts with receiving the order and finishes with its delivery.
Velocity. This estimates the time the programmers will need to develop a product. It helps to understand how much time the team needs for each stage. Thus, you can make a plan for future products according to already existing analyses.
This metric estimates the amount of work that the developers have already performed, their productivity, and speed. It can be checked by the active days, failures and repair time, productivity, task scopes, and other factors.
Active days. This is the time the developers spend on coding. It does not include any other type of minor activities, such as planning. This metric helps to identify the hidden costs.
Failure and repair time. When developing a product from scratch, you can never avoid mistakes and bugs. That’s why all you can do is to note the time the engineers spend on solving the problem.
Productivity. It is difficult to accurately measure this aspect, but each developer’s code volume can be used as a reference.
Task scopes. This is the volume of code which a developer can produce every year. Seems weird, but it helps to calculate how many engineers you will need for a project.
Code churn. This is the volume of the code that has been modified in the product.
Security responses metrics
As the name implies, the aim of these metrics is to ensure the security of the product. When measuring software quality, you need to check how the app responds to security. It is a very important stage since the number of hacker attacks rises every day. It is important to check how fast your project can detect a problem and eliminate it, or at least alarm the IT manager about it.
Another indicator that shows the product’s quality are your dependencies. You should make sure all the dependencies in your base work properly. Some of them may need to be updated.
Such a metric uses the quantifier KLOC (abbreviation for kilo) to calculate the size of the code and determine bugs, errors, and costs per 1000 lines. It helps to measure the app’s quality according to its size and code accuracy.
This metric shows how much business functionality you can get from the product. It stands for the main quantifier and analyses all the available information such as user input and requests, reports, messages on the errors, user requests.
The amount of defects is the number one indicator of the software’s quality. It includes:
- Stages when the defects arise
- The number of defect reports
- The time needed to identify and eliminate defects
- The defect number per code line (density)
Such requests can show you the complexity of your project, the pull requests engagement, and your team’s interaction. Software development quality control includes the following indicators:
- Pull requests that did not pass the test suite
- Pull requests that broke the build
- The number of rejected and merged requests
- The number of pull requests comments
They should not be too high or too small. But the more complicated the software is, the higher these metrics.
Testing is an important part of the development process. But can quality be measured? Since quality is a subjective definition, there are many different types of metrics used in software testing. They include written and executed tests that aim to determine the software’s progress by QA Lead. They can help you to improve your project’s lifecycle.
QA metrics in software testing:
- Identify the main issues that need to be tested
- Choose a specialist who knows what to do with the metrics
- Test the most important aspects of the software
- Calculate the metric’s efficiency
- Note if you need any changes
- Improve the aspects you want to change
This is one of the most important aspects since the whole business’s aim is to please the client. The happier the customers are, the better profit you have. This metric shows the customer’s loyalty level ranging from dissatisfied to the most satisfied. It gathers the information by polling the clients and calculating the results in terms of percentage.
If you want to get the most accurate and genuine feedback, it is better to rely on the first product release. Once your project goes to the market, it gets all the consumer’s attention. After the analysis, the developers can identify which improvements should be made.
Professional developer companies such as DICEUS use such metrics to provide the best final product. If you still do not know which application development metrics to implement or if your business needs each of them, reach out to our team. We will consult you on any topic and answer all your questions. To learn a little more about our services, team members, and outsourcing experience, do not hesitate to contact us.
Managing software quality
So how to manage the software quality? It depends not only on the metric’s efficiency but also on the developers. You should choose professionals who know exactly what they are doing. Let’s see some aspects that the engineers should take into account:
Coding standard. One of the best ways to provide a high-quality product is to use the coding standard. It guarantees that each team member is doing the job right and leads to the code’s consistency and readability. Having a standard makes the project easier to use and improves software quality.
Analyze the code. Experienced specialists know it is easier to prevent issues than deal with them after release. The quality should be the number one priority during the whole development process. The sooner you determine the errors, the faster, easier, and cheaper it is to fix them. That’s why professional engineers analyze the code right away.
Use the latest technologies. It is better not to rely only on the developers but also to use the metrics listed above. A manual code check is still useful but not that efficient. Let the software development quality metrics be automated.
Refactoring. If it comes to improving an already existing and outdated product, use refactoring. It helps to clean up the codebase and make it much easier to use. The best way is to do it gradually.
Now let’s sum up all the information. If you need a quality product that will attract consumers and raise their engagement, it is better to refer to professionals. DICEUS gives guarantees of service quality provided by a highly experienced team. We are ready to help those who are still not sure which metrics are the most important for their product. And if you have an idea to bring to life, we are always ready to provide software architecture, UI/UX design, web, mobile, or custom development, testing, and other services. If you still have questions, contact us now.