Code Quality Week part 1 of 8

This week we at Little Chicken are celebrating code quality. Resident Developer and Code Quality Guru Joris Van Leeuwen penned eight byte sized posts on this subject. Each day will see a new post on this subject.

PART 1: What is Code Quality?

The quality of a game is often defined by the quality of the code that’s behind it; high quality code is easy to read, comprehend and expand. It defines how easy we can turn creative ideas into functional results.

Code Quality – The quality of the code itself

That’s right, it means we’re not talking about the stability of the final product. It is the actual code that has the quality or not. Code quality can only be measured by opening the actual code.

Well then you might wonder: WHY? If Code Quality is not noticeable by our end-users, why would we even bother? Well, I’ve come up with three main reasons.

1. The love – Programmers love to puzzle and hate to decipher.
We like to have all of the pieces of the puzzle in our heads and move it around to find a perfect fit. We don’t like having to work to get those puzzle pieces into our heads in the first place.

2. The investment – Code is read more often than it is written.
Naturally, new code is written only once. The amount of times you or your teammate is going to read the code to add, edit or remove something is far greater. It is therefore a good investment to focus on code quality.

3. The independency – Code that tells a story.
Sure.. initially, code is just telling a computer what to do. But quality code also serves as a medium to transfer knowledge. Quality code is like a good story to the reader. It doesn’t need the writer to explain what is happening.

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