Code is the backbone of any application software, but did you know about the effort that goes into creating it? It takes months of hard work and collaboration to create a codebase with no room for error. However, mistakes can happen. That’s where code audit comes in.
A code audit is a process that helps identify errors and enhances performance and security. By reviewing the code, we can identify areas that need improvement, optimize the codebase, and ensure that the software performs as expected.
In this blog, we’ll be sharing the process of performing an effective code audit and other essential things one should know before starting up.
How to Perform an Effective Code Audit?
No matter how good you are at something, there’s always room for errors & improvements. In our case, we encounter bugs, breaches, leaks, performance issues, and a lot more, and therefore, we perform code audits.
What Is the Purpose of a Code Audit?
Code is a fundamental component of software development, and it underlies the website that you are reading this on, as well as many other applications and systems.
Code audits are performed to save time by identifying errors in order to bring out an error-free system that ensures the quality, security, and overall performance of the program.
Without it, none of the applications you use would have been in their current form.
To ease any audit, most people break down the process into fragments. According to a survey conducted in 2022, 36 percent of tech companies believe that code audit is the best way to improve code quality.
Here’s a brief overview of essential elements to perform a code audit:
Know It Before You Do It
For an audit, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the subject, objectives, and goals of the project, as well as access to the source code.
Collaborating with the development team not only eases the process and saves time but also enhances the program’s overall performance. Therefore, it’s important to understand the project requirements, define clear objectives, and work collaboratively with the team.
Use the Tech
In a space where AI is 100 times better at computing and analyzing data, we should leverage the tech.
The next step in conducting a code audit is to perform an automatic code analysis.
Automatic code analysis can be thought of as Grammarly for coders. It is the process of analyzing the source code of a program in order to identify errors such as syntax errors, coding standards violations, security vulnerabilities, and performance bottlenecks.
But this isn’t all; the major components of a code should still be checked manually, as there are some errors that automatic code analysis cannot detect. For instance, logic issues & context cannot be proofread entirely by the auto code analysis.
Just like how an automatic car can’t replicate the unique feeling of driving a manual car, no matter how many errors an automatic analysis identifies, it can’t guarantee a completely error-free code.
Manual auditing is time-consuming but important, and therefore, I break down it for ease of understanding.
A Quick Overview
Once the automatic code audit is completed, one can draw major potential errors with a quick overview.
Write down everything you are skeptical about; it could be mismatched statements, logic, or maybe the context.
Prioritizing the Issues
Not all errors are equal, and prioritizing the errors in terms of their severity helps to focus better on the critical bugs.
By prioritizing issues correctly, the development team can delegate less critical issues, such as the appearance of the program or minor issues that do not affect functionality.
With a team effort and proper division of work, a code audit can be conducted quickly and efficiently.
Note: Documenting the identified issues and offering the solution within is crucial for the whole audit.
Once the source code is reviewed, it’s time for the developers to review the identified issues and execute changes to fix them.
Developers review the documentation and determine which errors require configuration changes and which ones require a complete revamp.
Re-Audit & Follow-Ups
As the head suggests, re-audit is the process of auditing the source code again after the changes are done.
To complete an effective code audit, it is crucial that we re-adult with the same detail & enthusiasm as we did initially. Humans make mistakes, and therefore, It isn’t surprising to encounter more errors again.
Regular follow-ups and re-audits are signs that auditors are committed to ensuring a high-quality and error-free code. By conducting regular checks and audits, we can identify any new issues that may arise and ensure that the code is of the highest quality possible.
This article is intended for those who work in the development business or have hired developers and are considering a code audit.
It provides insights into the benefits of code audits and why they are an essential part of the software development process.
I tried covering all the essential aspects of performing an effective code audit, but if you have something in mind, please feel free to comment down below.