Code refactoring is an essential process in software development mobile that improves the internal structure of existing code without changing its external behaviour. It's a crucial aspect of software development because over time, as code evolves, it can become challenging to understand, maintain, and extend. Refactoring is necessary to keep the codebase clean, readable, reusable, and maintainable.
At Swipe & Tap we have worked on a number of projects where code refactoring is needed including iOS, Android and Laravel.
There are common reasons why code refactoring is needed:
1. Improve Code Readability
Code refactoring will improve the readability of the code by making it easier to understand. This can help developers quickly identify issues and make changes to the code. When code is poorly structured, it can be difficult to understand its logic, and this can lead to mistakes and bugs. Refactoring can help to make code more readable by simplifying complex code and removing unnecessary code.
2. Reduce Complexity
Software development can become more complex, making it harder to maintain and debug. Refactoring can help to reduce complexity, making the code easier to understand and work with. This can be achieved by breaking down large functions into smaller, more manageable ones and creating modules that are easy to understand.
3. Improve Code Performance
Refactoring can help to identify and remove bottlenecks in code that may be causing performance issues. This can be achieved by improving algorithms or data structures and removing duplicate code. Refactoring can make the code faster and more efficient.
4. Enhance Code Maintainability
Code refactoring can make it easier to maintain and update code, especially when changes are required to be made to the codebase in the future. This can be achieved by making the code modular, removing redundant code, and improving code readability.
6. Facilitate Code Reuse
Refactoring can help to create more modular and reusable code that can be used in other projects. This can be achieved by breaking down complex code into smaller modules that can be reused in other parts of the codebase. Reusable code can save time and effort in future projects.
There are some common best practices for code refactoring
DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself) - a principle to remove duplicated code by extracting common functionality into reusable code.
Code smells - signs of problematic code that may indicate the need for refactoring, such as long methods, duplicate code, and complex conditional statements.
Extract Method - a refactoring technique that involves extracting a section of code into a new method to improve code clarity and reduce repetition.
Inline Method - a refactoring technique that involves replacing a method call with the actual code within the method.
Rename - a refactoring technique that involves changing the name of a method, variable, or class to make its purpose more clear, understandable.
Extract Variable - a refactoring technique that involves extracting a complex expression into a variable to improve code readability and make it easier to understand.
Encapsulate Field - a refactoring technique that involves encapsulating a class field by creating getter and setter methods, which can improve code maintainability and readability.
Composition over Inheritance - a principle that suggests using composition to build more flexible and maintainable code instead of relying solely on inheritance.
Dead Code - code that is no longer used or needed, which can be removed to simplify the codebase and reduce the likelihood of bugs.
Open-Closed Principle - a principle that suggests software entities should be open for extension but closed for modification, meaning that new functionality can be added without changing existing code.
In conclusion, spending time on code refactoring can have several benefits for a software project. By improving the code quality and readability, refactoring can reduce the likelihood of bugs and improve the maintainability of the codebase over time.
It can also make the code easier to understand and modify, which can increase productivity and reduce development time. While refactoring may seem like an extra expense or time investment, it can actually save time and resources in the long run by preventing issues and ensuring that the codebase remains healthy and maintainable over time.
Therefore, it is worth considering incorporating refactoring into the development process as a proactive measure to improve the quality and sustainability of software projects.
If you are looking for help with managing your software development projects for iOS, Android or Web and would like to know more about our code refactoring services do let us know.