How Smartym Pro proved the effectiveness of code refactoring
Ever since the invention of the first programming language, there have been hundreds of languages, frameworks and libraries to come and go. All of them had their benefits and served well to those utilizing them in their projects. However, not all the technologies pass the test of time, sooner or later they become outdated or “legacy”. And what happens with the languages that still exist? They also get outdated, but not completely – the syntax updates, adapts to the modern technical requirements, the older methods become irrelevant, new versions of the languages appear, making the previous ones unmaintainable.
I think many of you have heard the word refactoring? But do you really know what it means and how important refactoring is?
Code refactoring – simply saying it is a procedure of taking an existing code of an application (no matter if it’s modern or outdated) and improving it using various practices. For example, in some project teams, software engineers regularly review and alter the code when the language gets updated or when new features are implemented, or in order to fix some bugs. As a result, the source code becomes fresh, up-to-date, more clean and readable. The functionality of a system/application doesn’t change, only the code’s structure.
Why code refactoring is so important?
- Maintainability. In order to make the solution future-proof, the project team’s software developers should do code refactoring regularly. When new versions of a language or a framework appear, you just can’t start writing new modules using the new tools, ignoring the fact that the rest of your application was written much earlier. Maybe everything will work fine, but how long? It’s just a matter of time until incompatibility issues will start creating major obstacles for further maintenance of the system;
- Removing the “Bad smell” from the code. Bad smell refers to all the code quality issues that were made due to code syntax rules violation, incompetency of a software engineer, inattentiveness, etc. Code refactoring helps remove these issues, make the code more compact and prevent the appearance of technical debt;
- Better performance. Code refactoring proves to be one of the best instruments for increasing the overall system performance. As a result of competent refactoring works done, the system works faster and becomes less error-prone.
The Real Case
Recently here in Smartym Pro we’ve had a client with a working software solution that had been developed more than 10 years ago. The software provides all the core functionality you would expect from an established provider, including regular updates. At the moment it is used by 100+ clients from 4 parts of the world.
No matter how great and feature-rich the application was, there were several performance issues. For instance, the process of authorization could take up to several minutes, which is absolutely unacceptable compared to modern requirements for software development.
The root problem was hiding in the code, that had been written 7 years ago via AngularJS. AngularJS today can be considered a legacy version as there have been lots of updates ever since AngularJS had been released. We decided to refactor the code, update AngularJS to the newest version – Angular 9. We had to choose Angular or React – both are wonderful examples of contemporary web development technologies. However, if we had chosen React, it would have been code migration which is more time-consuming and risky rather than code refactoring.
Using the Canary Deployment method, the client replaced the current software solution step-by-step for all its customers, just after our team provided the code refactoring works on the development environment. Making a choice towards Smartym Pro’s Angular development services was the best decision. The risk of crashes got minimized and early bugs identification (if there are any) became possible. As a result, the client got:
- Improved performance. The system works better, faster – the users of the system will no longer complain about excessive loading time;
- A more compact and legible code;
- Future-proof and maintainable codebase.
Code refactoring is a solution that’s worth the effort. Regular code refactoring can prevent the project from failures and minimize the risk of losing the target audience due to any performance issues. Don’t underestimate the benefits of code refactoring unless you don’t want your project to become old and irrelevant in the future.