Load testing and monitoring provide a wealth of insight into how your business’s online platforms perform, but the data is only as good as the use developers make of it. Performance data typically helps developers single out parts of the larger application that aren’t running as smoothly as they could, and identifies when updates impact efficiency. Development teams will integrate the performance results into planning for the maintenance, debugging, and revision processes in application updates.
The following tips can help your team steer platform updates in the right direction while better managing development time.
1. Balance Efficiency and Readability
Development teams are often faced with deciding whether code revisions should sacrifice readability for efficiency improvements. There is no clear answer here, and it’s up to your developers to make the call. However, it’s important to take into account while load testing and monitoring data that developers shouldn’t go overboard on attempts to improve efficiency if it makes the code substantially more difficult to understand.
In some cases, it may be wise to rewrite complex code into more readable code with minimal loss in efficiency. If the performance data shows that the platform is already working efficiently, it’s easier for the team to justify simplifying code. As a side note, do not fall into the trap of thinking “fewer lines” = “more efficient.”
2. Branch-Off Code Under Revision
Developers have the advantage of knowing the platform is working correctly when addressing efficiency and readability revisions to take a bit more time to push better updates. Therefore, developers may find using the “branching” process helps to keep revisions more organized and prevents situations in which efficiency updates might get pushed live without proper testing. Isolate the code section the developers have chosen to improve from the “trunk” or “mainline” application code during the work process, and return the branch to the main code after work is completed.
3. Revise While You’re in There
Since the developers are going to branch off and rework parts of the application, it makes practical sense to integrate this process with larger scale revisions. This doesn’t mean expanding the scope of the updates to the point where complexity can derail the process, however. Developers can save substantial time if they don’t need to re-familiarize themselves within a code segment when working on additional updates.
For example, the team may have found an efficiency issue with a chronologically sorted product search for an e-commerce platform. After resolving the issue, the developers can take what they learned to improve efficiency on relevance searches as well. For a larger scope, use this time to rewrite the related code for efficiency and readability.
4. Update Documentation
Coinciding efficiency revisions with documentation updates can ease the burden. Since it’s necessary for the developers to learn the platform code before they update it, this is a good time to review and update internal documentation. This is especially important if the developer spends a lot of time learning what’s going on in a code segment: writing down what it does and how it works can save substantial time down the line.
Load testing and monitoring are a great asset to any development team’s platform update process. Contact us at Apica today to find out more on how our tools can help your business plan for online growth and get the most out of your existing platform infrastructure.