Going Agile? Here’s Why You Should Use a Code Profiler.

Are you one of the 81% of companies employing (or looking to employ) an agile software development process? One of the hallmark characteristics of agile development process is a short development cycle which range from two – eight week sprints. Short cycles leave very little room for code refactoring or performance tweaks, putting pressure on programmers to ensure high quality, efficient code from the start of the project.

However, developers rarely create high-quality, fully functioning code their first time through. It is estimated that developers inject 100 defects into 1,000 lines of code that they write, and many of these defects occur early in the software development lifecycle. Test cases are limited to the specific environments and vulnerabilities covered in the testing phase – due to complexity, many code defects can slip unnoticed through the testing phase leading to grave consequences downstream. The earlier these defects are found, the cheaper it is to fix them and less of a negative impact that they will have on the organization. Developers typically go through arduous, time consuming, manual frameworks in order to locate bugs.  Additionally, code bugs can come in various forms: memory leaks, code coverage gaps, and performance bottlenecks and degrade application performance and may cause it to crash. A function or routine may respond quickly when one user executes it, but can degenerate if code is unoptimized and hundreds or thousands of users execute simultaneously. For example, think about Amazon –with unoptimized code, they would not have been able to handle the rise in sales. Crashing is a nightmare from a user experience perspective and may cause companies to lose customers and money.

Code Profilers accelerate debug workflows and allow developers to find bugs faster:

When adopting Agile and fast life cycles, developers can accelerate their debug workflows by integrating a code profiler. Code profilers are a category of tools that help developers identify and locate performance issues early in the software development lifecycle. Code profilers collect crucial performance and memory/resource allocation information at runtime, synthesize and display them. Outputs can range from statistical summaries of the events observed (profile), a stream of recorded events (a trace), or graphical representation of collected information. Profilers can be used standalone or integrated right within a developer’s IDE. A developer can profile code across many factors and across many different languages, codebases, and frameworks, leading to many different types of code profilers. These can range from open-source tools, to proprietary, to premium tools. However, many code profilers are limited focusing in on a specific language, specific bug use case or a permutation/combination of any of these components.

Code Profiling best practices – to help maximize your debug process:

When implementing a code profiling strategy within your debug process there are four dimensions you must consider: 1) Level of Impact 2) Timeliness 3) Versatility 4) Actionability. There are many different types of profilers on the market ranging from open-source tools, premium, proprietary, and tools focus on unique programming languages, and code defects (or a permutation and combination of either).

Level of Impact:

It’s important to select a profiler that’s as non-invasive as possible – you don’t want the code profiling process to modify any of your source code. Some profiling tools are highly invasive to an application’s code; they may require the code be modified so that the profiler can take accurate measurements. Because this could result in hundreds or thousands of changes in the code, it has to be done by an automated source-modification tool. Once this takes place, it may be difficult to understand whether the profiling tool itself may be injecting problems into the application. The profiler you use should not require any changes in source code, and should not introduce so much overhead that the application response time is impacted.

Timeliness

Ensuring quality is the most important, but it shouldn’t slow you down. As organizations are heading more towards Agile, you should select a profiler that allows you to quickly and easily diagnose performance problems in code with a minimal learning curve so you can use it immediately. The debug process is long and complex already, if a code profiler is equally complicated, or if it takes a significant amount of time to configure then this approach does not make any sense. A profiler is meant to be something that speeds up the software lifecycle, not bog it down further.

Versatility

Bugs come in various shapes and sizes and may be unique to your particular project. An ideal profiler will allow you to profile your code in several different ways and pin point different types of code bugs. It’s also essential that switching between these various measurements be fast, easy, and intuitive, to ensure you have ample time to run them. Having such a versatile profiling tool ensures that you can be certain code performs well with regard to a number of factors; such as memory allocation, operating system resource usage, and overall application performance.

Actionability

When implementing any strategy, you want to be able to take action as easily as possible because finding and fixing the bug is the main objective. Intuitive reporting is a major piece of this. It does not make sense to have complicated reports with lots of information if it bogs you down. Instead you need reports that are robust, but easy to interpret and actionable. These reports should provide the information you need to find and fix the bug as quickly as possible.

AQtime Pro is a memory, code coverage and performance profiling tool that includes dozens of productivity tools that helps developers isolate, and code bugs.  AQtime Pro is a strong profiler trusted by over 1000s developers around the world because it can pin point bugs fast through intuitive, actionable visualizations. It has over a dozen easy to use profilers to tackle many different types of bugs and has broad language support.

Start code profiling today – ensure code quality when code quality can’t be sacrificed

Agile teams are characterized by their short sprint cycles that puts pressure on developers to create high quality code faster. In order locate different bugs faster, developers can use code profilers as part of their debug workflows. Start code profiling today with AQtime Pro to ensure high code quality where code quality can’t be sacrificed.

 

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