Most organisations don't sit back and think long and hard about the quality of their code. However, for enterprises that want their systems to last, code is as important a consideration as software itself. Quality code can be worked on for up to 15 years - it's resilient to change, it's adaptable, and it can evolve alongside the business. In the financial sector, code has to be as flexible and intelligent as the organisations themselves, capable of delivering to high standards of efficiency and sustainability.
Vutlhari Rikhotso, CTO of Basalt Technology | Source: Supplied
Code, that hidden language that sits behind the user interface, is similar to the written word. It has to be easy to read, concise, and serve a purpose. It shouldn’t ramble or include anything unnecessary. Great code is written with the same elegance of style and simplicity as great writing. It is modular, concise and fit-for-purpose. Most importantly, it can be easily picked up by another developer.
Want to know why your organisation should be paying attention to the code? Here are four reasons why code should be written with care:
1. Systems and people change
The developer that initially writes code is very likely to move on to new projects, or even companies. This makes it crucial for code to be easily picked up by another developer who can quickly dig into its depths and adapt it to meet the organisation’s needs.
This ease of use underscores the importance of concise, modular and resilient code. If anyone can pick it up and run with it, then it becomes a raw material that can be leveraged to achieve relevant results.
2. The value of code lies in its resilience
Resilience in code is of paramount importance. It allows for the organisation’s developer teams, either internal or external, to make inevitable changes to the software with relative ease. This is the primary value of code, and where the business and the developer can often miss one another.
The business places a lot of emphasis on value but this can lie in cost, speed to market and immediacy; but for the developer, this value lies in creating code that enables the business over the long and the short term. Badly written code can be done in an hour and may serve a purpose today, but when tomorrow arrives with new challenges and technology stacks, it can’t adapt.
3. The code connects your business to success
A real-world, tangible example of how good code can transform your business is in something as simple as video conferencing. If a video conferencing system was originally designed to hold up to ten people in a call, the development team was very likely racing to increase these numbers over the past year.
Today, calls can include up to 100 people, and their purpose has evolved to incorporate anything from internal team collaboration to webinars and conferences. Great code will give resilience and flexibility back to the business, allowing for immediate and effective home working, video conferencing capacity, and so much more.
4. Code discovery can rectify the challenge in the future
It’s hard to determine whether code is good or bad without an audit. This is an extensive and expensive process that requires very specific tools, skills and technology to facilitate it. However, you can embed good practice within your code development processes by engaging with companies and individuals who adhere to best practice principles and recognise the value of good code. If poor code has crept into your company, you will have to tackle it head-on, but it will give you the opportunity to redefine your code if you mandate that future development is aligned with your coding policies.
In the financial sector, code is critical to ensuring that companies can innovate and evolve to meet constantly changing market demands. From the small fintech disruptors to incumbent financial institutions, great code is key to creating solutions that deliver remarkable customer experiences, ensure absolute system security, and ensure that change is not only possible but supported.
Code is not a hidden and mysterious landscape of numbers and symbols, it’s fundamental to business decision making and success. So, collaborate with partners that understand the value of good code because it is an invaluable and enduring asset.