The ticking clock of coding time is often considered a factor in making or breaking the success of a development project. When developers manage it well, teams can meet deadlines, deliver high-quality software, and foster collaboration.
However, sometimes coding times are high. This can cause many internal issues and affect the product development cycle.
This blog will address why coding time is high sometimes and how you can improve it.
What is coding time?
Coding time is the time it takes from the first commit to a branch to the eventual submission of a pull request. It is a crucial part of the development process where developers write and refine their code based on the project requirements.
What is the importance of coding time?
Coding time is crucial in the software development lifecycle. It influences the cycle time and, as a result, the delivery timelines.
Thus, managing the coding time efficiently to ensure the code completion is done on time with quicker feedback loops and a frictionless development process is essential.
What is the impact of coding time?
Maintaining the right coding time has several benefits to a development team.
Projects progress faster
When you reduce the coding time, developers can complete more tasks. This moves the project faster and results in shorter development cycles.
With less time spent on coding, developers can have enough time for collaborative activities such as code reviews. These are crucial for a team to function well and enable knowledge sharing.
When coding time is lesser, developers can focus more on quality by conducting testing and debugging processes. This results in cleaner code.
What factors affect coding time?
While less coding time has several benefits, this often isn’t the reality. However, high coding time is not just the result of a team member being lazy – several reasons cause high coding time.
Whenever the tasks or features are complicated, additional coding time is needed compared to the more straightforward tasks.
Developers also try to complete the entire tasks in one go which can be hard to achieve. This leads to the developer getting overwhelmed and, eventually, prolonging the coding time.
For software developers, breaking down work into smaller, more manageable chunks is crucial to make progress and stay focused. It’s important to commit small changes frequently to move forward quickly and receive feedback more often. This ensures that the development process runs smoothly and stays on track.
When the requirement is defined poorly, developers will struggle to be efficient. It leads to higher coding time in understanding the requirement, seeking clarification, and making assumptions based on this.
It is essential to establish clear and comprehensive requirements before starting any coding work. This helps developers create an accurate roadmap, reducing the chances of encountering unexpected obstacles. Effective planning and scoping improve the efficiency of the coding process, resulting in timely and satisfactory outcomes.
Varied levels of skill and experience
In a team, there will be developers with different skillset and experience. Additionally, the expertise and familiarity of the developers with the codebase and the technology stack can affect their coding speed.
Maintaining focus and consistency
Maintaining focus and staying on-task while coding is crucial for efficient development. Task languishing is a common issue that can arise due to distractions or shifting priorities, leading to abandoned tasks and decreased productivity.
A survey showed that developers spent only one-third of their time writing new code but spent 35% managing code with code maintenance, testing, and solving security issues.
To avoid this, it’s essential to conduct regular progress reviews. Teams must implement a systematic review process to identify potential issues and address them promptly by reallocating resources as needed. Consistency and focus throughout the development cycle are key for optimizing coding time.
Too much work in progress
When a developer has too many ongoing projects, they are forced to frequently multitask and switch contexts. This can lead to a reduction in the amount of time they spend working on a particular branch or issue, resulting in an increase in their coding time metric.
Use the worklog to understand the dev’s commits over a timeline to different issues. If a developer makes sporadic contributions to various issues, it may be indicative of frequent context switching during a sprint. To mitigate this issue, it is advisable to balance and rebalance the assignment of issues evenly and encourage the team to avoid multitasking by focusing on one task at a time. This approach can help reduce coding time.
How can you prevent high code time?
Setting up Slack alerts for high risk work
Set goals for the work at risk where the rule of thumb is keeping the PR with less than 100 code changes and refactor size as above 50%.
To achieve the team goal of reducing coding time, real-time Slack alerts can be utilised to notify the team of work at risk when large and heavily revised PRs are published. By using these alerts, it is possible to identify and address issues, story-points, or branches that are too extensive in scope and require breaking down.
Empowering Code Review Efficiency:
Ensuring fast and efficient code reviews is crucial to optimize coding time. It’s important to inform developers of how timely reviews can speed up the entire development process.
To accomplish this, code review automation tools should be used to improve the review process. These tools can separate small reviews from large ones and automatically assign them to available developers. Furthermore, scheduling specialist reviews can guarantee that complex tasks receive the necessary attention without causing any undue delays.
Embracing Data-Driven Development:
Improving coding productivity necessitates the adoption of data-driven practices. Teams should incorporate code quality tools that can efficiently monitor coding time and project advancement.
Such tools facilitate the swift identification of areas that require attention, enabling developers to refine their methods continuously. Using data-driven insights is the key to developing more effective coding practices.
Prioritize Task Clarity
Before starting the coding process, thoroughly defining and clarifying the project requirements is extremely important. This crucial step guarantees that developers have a complete comprehension of what needs to be achieved, ultimately resulting in a successful outcome.
Pair programming involves two developers working together on the same code at the same time. This can help reduce coding time by allowing developers to collaborate and share ideas, which can lead to faster problem-solving and more efficient coding.
Encouraging open communication and collaboration among team members is crucial to creating a productive and positive work environment. This fosters a culture of teamwork and enables efficient problem-solving through shared ideas. Working together leads to more significant achievements than individuals can accomplish alone.4. Automate Repetitive Processes: Utilize automation tools to streamline repetitive coding tasks, such as code generation or testing, to save time and effort.
Continuous Learning and Skill Development
Developers must always stay up to date with the latest technologies and best practices. This is crucial for increasing coding speed and efficiency while enhancing the quality of the code. Continuous learning and skill development are essential to maintain a competitive edge in the industry.
Balance workload in the team
To manage workloads and assignments effectively, it is recommended to develop a habit of regularly reviewing the Insights tab, and identifying long PRs on a weekly or even daily basis. Additionally, examining each team member’s workload can provide valuable insights. By using this data collaboratively with the team, it becomes possible to allocate resources more effectively and manage workloads more efficiently.
Use a Framework
Using a framework, such as React or Angular, can help reduce coding time by providing pre-built components and libraries that can be easily integrated into the application
Rapid prototyping involves creating a quick and simple version of the application to test its functionality and usability. This can help reduce coding time by allowing developers to quickly identify and address any issues with the application.
Use Agile Methodologies
Agile methodologies, such as Scrum and Kanban, emphasize continuous delivery and feedback, which can help reduce coding time by allowing developers to focus on delivering small, incremental improvements to the application
Reusing code that has already been written can help reduce coding time by eliminating the need to write code from scratch. This can be achieved by using code libraries, modules, and templates.
How Typo helps in identifying high coding time?
Typo provides instantaneous cycle time measurement for both the organization and each development team using their Git provider.
Our methodology divides cycle time into four phases:
- The coding time is calculated from the initial commit to the creation of a pull request or merge request.
- The pickup time is measured from the PR creation to the beginning of the review.
- Review time is calculated from the start of the review to when the code is merged, and
- Merge time is measured from when the code is merged to when it is released.
When the coding time is high, your main dashboard will display the coding time as red.
Identify delay in the ‘Insights’ section at the team level and sort the teams by the cycle time. Further, click on the team to deep dive into cycle time breakdown of each team and see the delays in the coding time.
Make development processes better by reducing coding time
Coding times are the cornerstones of efficient software development. Thus, when its impact on project timelines is recognized, engineering teams can imbibe best practices and preventative strategies to deliver quality code on time.