As software development becomes increasingly complex, the need to streamline code quality and security becomes more prevalent. However, achieving those goals can be challenging, with many organizations using numerous tools to ensure code health. While using linters and other code analysis tools can be helpful, relying on too many disparate tools can create inefficiencies, increase costs, and make it harder for teams to collaborate effectively. This article explores the drawbacks of using too many disparate tools and the benefits of streamlining your tooling for code quality.
We surveyed 200 software developers and application security professionals about their current code health process and outcomes. Up to 80% of respondents currently use at least four different tools to ensure the quality and security of their code, with 37% of respondents using at least seven tools to achieve the same end. Unsurprisingly, 51% of respondents selected “disparate tools” as one of the issues associated with their current code analysis process.
Linting tools help automate code reviews. They perform basic static code analysis by flagging programming errors, bugs, style issues, and security vulnerabilities before the code is compiled and runs. While integrating these tools into your workflow is largely beneficial, some drawbacks may make them the wrong choice for long-term or more sophisticated software development.
Downsides of too many code health tools
Increased complexity and cost
Using multiple tools can make the code review process more complex and time-consuming. Integrating all the tools into a unified workflow can be challenging, leading to a lack of consistency and increased effort. Each tool also comes with its price and license fees. Relying on too many tools can significantly increase the cost of ensuring code quality.
Using multiple tools can make it harder for teams to collaborate effectively, as each tool may have different ways of communicating and sharing information.
Maintaining and updating multiple tools can be challenging and time-consuming. Keeping up with updates and changes to each tool can quickly become overwhelming.
Differing functionality sets across code analysis tools
Lacking standardization among tools with different functions creates difficulties. Some tools concentrate solely on a single aspect of code quality, such as security, syntax, code coverage, or code style. Multiple tools perform various functions, making it challenging to view code health comprehensively. Finally, having the same errors highlighted by numerous tools can be irritating.
Benefits of streamlining code health tooling
Better error detection
By reducing the number of tools, developers can be more confident in error detection accuracy, as there is less chance of encountering conflicting information from different tools. That can help reduce confusion and increase productivity.
Reducing the number of tools makes the development process less complex, leading to a more efficient and effective workflow.
Using fewer tools reduces the risk of confusion over who discovered and resolved issues, leading to improved communication and collaboration between developers. That can result in a more cohesive and effective development team.
Organizations can achieve cost savings by decreasing the number of tools they use, as they would not need to invest in and maintain numerous separate tools. That can lead to significant savings, particularly for organizations with limited resources.
By streamlining code quality checks, organizations can build a more effective code review process that delivers improved code quality and security while enhancing developer productivity and efficiency. Read the full survey results to find out how to streamline your tooling for code quality and security and make the most of your code review process. Download the full report today to learn more about maximizing your code health process.