Source code analysis in an agile world
To keep pace with customers’ ever-increasing demands for software functionality and time-to-market expectations, software developers have had to evolve the way they develop code to be both faster and higher quality. As part of this trend, the waterfall method of software development began to give way to a lighter method of software development in the late 1990s: Agile.
The use of Agile has grown over the past decade and is still maturing. Software organisations are constantly looking for ways to improve their Agile environments, and minimising software errors is an area of focus. This article demonstrates that several core principles of Agile cannot be fully realised without implementing a repeatable process to ensure that code is as bug-free as possible. Approach: This document recommends using automated source code analysis (SCA) technology to find and describe bugs in software source code. These bugs could be logic errors, implementation errors, code vulnerability analysis, rare boundaries, or any number of other types of bugs.
After providing brief overviews of Agile and SCA and discussing the importance of error-free code for enabling Agile development, this article demonstrates how the key elements of SCA improve Agile development processes and empower Agile teams. Agile development and error-free code are linked, and you will learn how to use SCA tools to make sure your process is as efficient as possible.
Agile development: a brief overview
Simply put, Agile software development is an approach that provides flexibility to enable continuous change throughout the software development cycle. It emphasises fast delivery of working software, developer empowerment, and emphasises collaboration between developers and the rest of the team, including business people.
Agile contrasts with the still popular Waterfall development approach, which is front-loaded with extensive scope and requirement definitions and uses clear, sequential transfers from requirement definition to design to coding and then to quality assurance. Agile, on the other hand, involves a continuous flow of requirements gathering that continues during development. Business people are involved early and often during the release cycle so that the software being developed meets the real needs of both the end user and the business. Changes in the requirements and the overall feature set are expected to happen as new opportunities or threats come up outside of the company.
In short, Agile fully embraces change, and Agile teams are structured to receive and execute constant feedback provided by the build process, by other developers, from QA, and from business stakeholders.
The ubiquitous nature of software today, coupled with the pressure to rapidly develop market-ready features and products in just weeks, has led to two related phenomena:
the widespread adoption of Agile principles for software development and the
use of various tools by Agile teams designed to streamline development projects and reduce risk.
One of the most important types of tools an Agile team can deploy is one that helps write better-quality code. Source code analysis tools provide an automated method to detect a significant number of software bugs or security vulnerabilities right on the developer’s desktop before delivering the code to the integration or testing team. This minimises project drag caused by rework and allows Agile to work more efficiently: developers spend their time writing innovative code, while test teams spend their time testing how the project’s features work rather than tackling mundane code problems. bring it to light and retest it this time and again.
SCA may be a good fit for your Agile team, especially if you find a large number of quality or security issues and need to do a significant amount of rework as a result.
Klocwork is an enterprise software company that provides automated source code analysis software products that automate security and quality risk assessment, remediation, and measurement for C, C++, and Java software, as well as static Java analysis. More than 300 organisations have integrated Klocwork’s automated source code analysis tools into their software development process to ensure their code is free from business-critical errors while allowing their developers to focus on what they do best: innovate.
Todd Landry, Senior Product Manager at Klocwork, a leading developer of static source code analysis software and an expert in critical software defects, At Klocwork, he is in charge of making sure the product is going in the right direction and that it fits with the customer’s preferred development process.