In childhood, all of us have seen our teachers to rectify our writing mistakes and in higher education and professional training, we never missed those red marks on the answer sheets marking our mistakes. So, auditing is part of our general learning process and development of skills. Well, in the career of a programmer also detecting mistakes in code and rectifying them are parts of the professional coding and development experience.
Code audit is important for any enterprise software development team to ensure that the business app is optimised for performance and on security grounds. Since coding mistakes and development flaws are largely responsible for underperforming apps and security flaws of all types, rectifying these mistakes are important for any business app. Let us explain here what is code audit and how it plays an important role for any business.
What is a Code Audit?
Code audit refers to the systematic review and assessment of the application code. This audit is done to ensure the optimum quality of the coding for each app project. A code audit is also important to ensure that the code remains throughout, maintainable and error-free in the long run.
Every expert developer takes pride in his coding skills. But in spite of their coding excellence and skills, the app code at times may offer some scopes of betterment and optimisation. Just as the language teachers used to point out the ideal sentence structures to students who apparently had no mistakes in their writing, code audit beyond mistakes also helps developers to write better code and follow best practices.
In the programming world not avoiding to commit mistakes but writing better code is equally important for a great app product. A code audit can help in following the best coding practices and maintaining the optimum performance of the app.
How can You Know that You Need a Code Audit?
Any project actually needs a code audit and the answer almost never can be no. Since code audits can always do your app good by discovering mistakes and making suggestions for tweaks, changes, and following some practices, a code audit always means improvement.
In spite of the benefits of code audit at any given point of time, there are certain signs when you understand the importance of code audit even better.
- When your app looks outdated in terms of performance.
- When your app is outright slower in loading pace.
- When you discover certain features are not working properly but you can’t detect the reasons behind them.
In case, these three signs are visible with your app project, you clearly need a code audit. Suppose, there are no shortcomings of this sort with your app, do you still need a code audit then? Well, the answer is a resounding yes. Even a functionally superb app has scopes of optimisation and making things better. In one grand way to say, a code audit will always make your app optimised for better future performance.
How does Code Audit Work?
Now that we have understood the importance of code audit, it is important to understand the code auditing process. Generally, the entire review process of the app code takes around a week’s time and delivers a complete written report. The code audit report in most cases comes with the review results on the following aspects.
- Defining the libraries used in the app.
- Reviewing the architecture of the code.
- Evaluation of all the security issues and potential flaws.
- Critical errors and bugs in code.
- Reviewing app performance issues and bottlenecks
- Evaluating bad coding practices and issues corresponding to code style.
- Potential coding errors that are likely to take place.
- Detailed recommendations on optimising the code.
While there can be always omissions and additions to this list of covered areas of code auditing, mostly these are the things that code auditing takes care of in most cases.
How to Carry Out the Code Auditing Tasks?
Now that we have explained the areas to be covered through code auditing, let us get down to the exact steps in the process.
Code audit is mostly done manually as no automation tool is equipped enough to take care of all the areas we mentioned above. The manual code audit process comprises basically 3 different phases, such as reviewing frontend code, reviewing backend code, and reviewing the app architecture. Let us briefly explain the 3 different phases.
- The review of the front end code gets going by putting the code under the scanner to consider the impact on the app user experience. From app performance to the loading speed of contents and images and proper view of the app across devices, all these aspects are evaluated through this.
- The backend review of the code focuses on the ways other tools are working in the app and the kind of security vulnerabilities they are creating. The backend review also makes comparison with the standard code structure and evaluates the stability of the code.
- The infrastructure review basically considers various aspects of the system ranging from hardware, software, tools, processes, and responsibilities to make sure all the components are following best practices and remain updated. It covers both normal app conditions and contingent situations like disaster recovery.
The auditing code of an app involves a lot of meticulous considerations. Since any software app consists of thousands of lines of code, getting overwhelmed by the sheer volume and complexity of tasks is common. This is also why code audit never fails to come with ways and means to optimise code.
Ensuring a stable and clean codebase is absolutely necessary for businesses attempting to buy or sell a new brand along with its digital footprint. When buying an app or brand website along with others, it is extremely important to ensure the stability and cleanliness of the codebase. The code audit process is undoubtedly rigorous and intensive with participation from both developers and the testing team. The best thing about code audit is that it always finds something better or new ways to optimise the app.