When it comes to supporting a project for our team, it's often a daunting task to learn all about the project for the first time. Take a website for example, there is often a frontend and backend that must be learned to assess the code. One way to speed up this process is with evaluation tools. These tools give developers insight into the quality, build, organization of code. Here are 4 tools that we often use to evaluate both frontend and backend code to better understand our approach to your web development project:

1. NDepend

NDepend is a .NET code evaluation tool to assess quality, tech debt, and coding issues. It can be used ad-hoc or with continuous integration to ensure no large issues were introduced with the last check-in. NDepend gives a very detailed report that allows developers to assess all issues found ranging from minor organization issues to critical structure issues When reading the report, the first thing developers will notice is an overall letter grade with A being the highest. After this, are the two most important parts of the report. The Quality and Rules summaries which detail exactly what was found in the report. This gives the developer a good picture of what the code might look like or any cleanup opportunities.

2. Resharper DupFinder

DupFinder is a great tool to help a developer assess code quality by finding duplicate/similar code. If a project is littered with duplicate/similar code, this is often a sign of spaghetti or disorganized code. If a project doesn’t have a lot of duplicate code, it is often a sign of quality code. Code should be written with reusability in mind, copy/paste code is not reusable. DupFinder will not only find lines of code that are the same but also lines of code that are similar. The tool is smart enough to only look at code and discards things such as comments. The overall report will note the line numbers, code block, and class the duplicates are found in a nice, detailed HTML report.

3. Tinfoil Security Scan

Tinfoil Security Scan is a tool to assess the overall security of a website by scanning for the OWASP Top 10 web application security risks and other vulnerabilities. The report will give an overall status of the website, letting the developer know how safe the website is. Tinfoil is a great tool to not only assess a support project, but also a brand-new website before its deployed to the world wide web. The cool part about Tinfoil is they will give how-to-fix instructions complete with code snippets, saving a developer time from having to create their own code.

4. Google Pagespeed Insights

PageSpeed Insights by Google is another great tool, which assesses the performance of a website. The report will tell developers exactly what can be changed to improve the speed of a website. PageSpeed insights also split the report into mobile and desktop reports. Each report will go over opportunities and diagnostic information about the website, which paints a picture of the overall structure/quality/architecture of the website.

Using these four tools will help paint a good picture of the code behind a website and help ease support. From these tools, developers will be given advance notice into the website’s quality/performance/security, potentially fixing anything before it becomes an issue and to start all projects off without any surprises.


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