Article Written By: Kenneth Nwanganga
Software development has become relatively easy to go into, after all you don’t really need to write all your codes yourself.
While writing this, I was just thinking about how long it would have taken me to deliver on several projects I have worked on. I have at many points reused a lot of code base over the years.
In fact I actually have a collection of codebase I reference every time I am working on a new project, say I am involved in a payment platform, I know that I will need a code that will convert an input to amount/currency, I have only written this code once and used it in several projects.
The advancement of the digital age has created a pathway for developers to reuse existing code snippets, thanks to early developers who have solved many complex problems using their skills. Generally, software development is about solving real-world issues. Every application is made-up of different code snippets, whether you are building an application that reports the current time or you are building an application that processes customer orders, you’ll definitely combine some code logic to arrive at a solution.
A lot of people think software development is complex. If they truly understand how powerful and useful code reuse can be, they’ll really see software development in a different way. As a senior developer, I’ve discovered that whenever I return to Google to look for answers to coding-related issues I’ve already resolved (such as splitting a comma-separated string, converting double to amount, and many other issues), I end up using the same code I did before.
Code reuse is essential in software development because it allows programmers to write the same code over and over again. It saves time, money, and resources; and helps reduce errors by increasing overall quality of products. When business owners hear that you can save them money, they are always happy and will welcome the idea of cost saving, after all nobody likes to waste money.
What is code reuse?
Code reuse means the use of a piece of software in multiple applications. If developers were to replicate some existing applications such as Facebook, it’ll take them less time than it took the original developers because most of the functionalities they require can be found in some open-source repositories. The role that code reuse plays in software development is so huge, it has helped companies save time and money.
One of the most important techniques that software engineers employ to shorten development cycles and boost productivity is source code reuse.
Stack Overflow is One of the most well-known places for developers to look for answers to common issues. There is a saying that many developers would have lost their employment if Stack Overflow goes offline for a week, and this paradigm allows developers to reuse codes or solutions from other developers.
Imagine if everyone had to construct their Blockchain system from the start; it would take a very long time, especially during the creation of smart contacts. This is another example of how code reuse has been beneficial.
Not because developers lack the ability to produce code that will solve their problems, but rather because they feel there is no need to reinvent the wheel, more than 70% of developers rely on code reuse.
The majority of problems in today’s world already have a solution. Utilizing existing codes will speed up development, increase output, and reduce costs. Through this initiative, developers will be able to work together more effectively and reduce code duplication in apps.
I encourage developers to create a personal repository of small pieces of code they believe are often used by them, so that once the need to implement something similar comes, they know exactly where to get such code from. Time they say is money, the more you practice code reuse the more money you save.
About the Author:
Kenneth Nwanganga is the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at GIGM; a Nigerian-based technologically powered transportation company that operates in many African countries. He is responsible for the company’s technical operations and plays a key role in the development and implementation of new technologies and systems to improve the company’s services and operations.
Kenneth holds a first class degree in Computing from the University of Greenwich in London and an Advanced Diploma in Software Engineering from APTECH Computer Institute in Nigeria.