24 September 2015, Endava Offices, top floor
starting at 18:00

An Irreverent Guide to Assessing Code Quality

Radu Marinescu

An incredible amount of effort is spent daily for maintaining and evolving huge amounts of legacy code that usually bears the unmistakable odour of a "stinky" design. At the same time we hear more and more often about tools that claim to guide to us to the green pastures of software quality. These tools compute myriads of metrics and throw at us thousands of warnings. Managers are gazing ecstatically at complex dashboards full of complex and vividly coloured charts and trend lines. Sophisticated "technical debt calculators" are converting, with great boldness, internal quality issues to scary financial figures. With such an impressive arsenal of methodologies, techniques, and tools, software projects should be under full control. Except they are not! Often, metrics leave us clueless on how to improve the quality of our software; even worse, following blindly the goal of fixing some metric values usually leads to a degradation of a system's quality. In this talk, I invite you to take together a closer, critical look at some of the most prominent code quality tools. I will share some of the practical lessons learned through my 15+ years of experience on creating and using code analysis techniques and tools. I will also discuss the need to find new ways of correlating the various sources of information about a project, in order to move from raw data to insightful knowledge that can lead to real improvement actions. The presentation will abound in pragmatism, as I will try to share with you some of the insights that I got while helping teams to deal with code quality issues in large-scale software companies.

About the speaker

Radu Marinescu is Full Professor of software engineering at the Politehnica University of Timisoara (Romania), where he heads the LOOSE Research Group. This year he joined Endava as Group Manager for Code Quality, with the goal of making code quality part of Endava's organisational DNA. His interests are focused on software design, quality assurance, software metrics and refactoring. Radu is co-author of the "Object-Oriented Metrics in Practice" book, one of the best selling titles on metrics. Radu strongly believes that research must ultimately flow into software products that have influence the state of the practice in software companies. Consequently, he was one of the key driving forces in creating inFusion, an industry-strength tool for assessing design quality. inFusion has been successfully used by thousands of developers and architects in large-scale companies, including a very successful deployment in a Global Fortune 500 company. In 2014 he received the ICSME Most Influential Paper Award, after having received in 2009 the IBM John Backus Award from a jury that included two Turing Award winners. In 2010 he served as General Chair the International Conference on Software Maintenance, the premier scientific event in this field.

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