These days most software applications reuse codes written by other programmers. This is also the reason why it is important to audit the code to make sure that by reusing the code no security vulnerability is incorporated into the development. At any point in time when a software code is used by different hands, it is important to understand the underlying composition, pedigree, ownership, and licensing as well as obligations.
The code audit which is different from the software audit is done to detect the ready to use code you have used in your development including the software modules, packages, files, or just a few lines of external code. The auditing process apart from ensuring code ownership and licensing obligations can also point out the issues with the application code. Whether you are a software or a Web App Development Company, you must be needing code review from time to time.
Here we are going to explain some of the key reasons to conduct code audits.
- Enhanced Programming Quality
We all know the important role of QA testing in enhancing the performance of an app product. Similarly, source code reviews are equally important to ensure higher code quality. With the review of the source code, developers can easily improve software performance and can expand the software product by adding new features.
Enhanced code quality also makes sure that the developers need to spend the least time and resources in solving technical issues and errors. The code debt which is common for development companies using code created by other developers should be reviewed and technically perfected.
- Cost Advantage
To reduce the cost of development it is important to detect the bugs early and as quickly as possible. Thanks to code audit detecting and resolving errors at the initial stage of development ensure a great cost advantage for the software projects. The external developers can easily detect mistakes made by external software developers.
- Streamlined Development Process
Undetected coding mistakes lying within can cause further development issues down the line and can undermine the project management. Apart from detecting and addressing bugs and errors for enhancing software quality, the code audit also improves and streamlines the software development processes and the developer team output.
- Improving the Skills of New Developers
The code audit also helps new and less experienced developers get familiar and improve skills with different modules and other development practices. Thanks to the code audit and review it becomes easier for the development teams to share ideas and improve development skills. The younger and less experienced developers through code review and audit can easily sharpen their development skills and develop expertise for the coding tasks.
- Making More Precise and Accurate Project Estimation
Code audit also facilitates sharing coding skills and knowledge among developers and helps to pass the expertise from the original author to other developers. As the reviewer of the code is likely to be familiar and versed with the different issues common in the code base he can make recommendations about changes as per the complexity of the project. This allows making more precise and accurate estimates of the software development project in terms of cost, development time, and required resources.
- Maintaining Consistency in Coding Style
Code audit also ensures maintaining consistency of coding style all through a software development project. Thanks to the code audit any developer joining in the middle of a project can easily understand the code and get engaged quickly with the tasks. With the easy to read source code of a software, the developers can also reduce the development cost and spending of resources in the long run.
How to Go About Software Code Audit?
You need to set up an automatic code scanning process once after meeting the legal requirements the software code is made available for the project. First, you need to identify and segregate the constituent modules and then carry out scanning the code.
Through the scanning of the code, you can get warnings about ownership obligations, copyright information, licensing requirements, etc. now these reports containing the details about the used software will be reviewed by the auditing team. Depending upon the project complexities, this scanning process can take up to 2 days.
Let us now have a quick look at the different steps of carrying out code audits.
- When the code audit is carried out manually, it goes through three different phases, respectively as reviewing of frontend code, backend code, and infrastructure.
- The reviewing of the front end code takes care of detecting coding issues impacting the user experience like the loading speed.
- The review of the backend code goes deeper into the core codebase for finding how the code is interacting with and accommodating other tools. This review process also analyses the security vulnerabilities.
- The infrastructure review finally takes holistic care of a lot of aspects of a system including the hardware, software application, development processes, and the responsibilities. This review process is also about enforcing best development practices and following widely acclaimed system recommendations.
Now that we have explained the processes of code auditing, we need to spare a few words on the challenges and precautions regarding code audit. A code auditing process can be a really challenging task with the responsibility of reviewing thousands of code lines. This is why it is ideal to make use of a checklist and break down the entire review process into different modules to concentrate on reviewing each module separately.
Generally, software engineers from both the team of the original software producer and the buyer company review the code and they become familiar with the software functionalities and the structure of the software. Now, a deeper manual audit is carried out for the frontend, backend, and infrastructure of the software. At last, all the auditing reports are compiled into a comprehensive report listing various issues and corresponding solutions.
As long as software development will encourage collaboration and reusability of other’s coding, code audit will remain essential. Since the development world is increasingly becoming collaborative and interdependent, code audit is likely to remain a mainstay for the years to come.