There’s an old saying among business leaders that also applies to software development teams: you need to work on your business, not in your business. The grind of daily work often leaves developers with little time to create more strategic and structural plans required to accomplish core business objectives. Without a focus on the foundation of your processes and practices, there is the risk of making all of that day-to-day work less effective than it could and should be.
Some dev teams have the flexibility to hire a specific person to focus on those structural, strategic issues. A small portion of them are able to stick to that division of labor, even in the face of immediate business needs, which is great. However, many teams benefit greatly from partnering with an outside software consultant to help them with the strategic analysis of the codebase, systems, and development practices. A consultant’s role is to help you find the best practices that make your processes and jobs more efficient and effective going forward.
Here are three ways a third-party code audit from an experienced software consultant can benefit your team in the long run.
1. Outside Perspective
First and foremost, a software consultant brings an outside perspective. Your team will be much more familiar with the details of your business than a consultant. Due to that very familiarity, your team may have learned to live with anti-patterns that could be costing you time with every feature change.
After months or years without becoming a top priority, an architectural issue in need of improvement can become invisible. A consultant can approach your code with fresh eyes and more knowledge of architecture and best practices than the particulars of your business requirements. Ultimately, they can provide the perspective required to see the forest for the trees.
2. Breadth of Knowledge
There is a saying that, “A smart person learns from his mistakes, but a truly wise person learns from the mistakes of others.” Software consultants continuously improve their skill sets by working with a variety of codebases, teams, and processes across many different companies and industries. They have the breadth of experience to recognize the strengths of your team, as well as vulnerabilities and potential problems you may be heading towards. Consultants provide expertise to keep your team abreast of what others are doing, what’s working smoothly, and what is next on the bleeding edge.
3. Tailored Strategies and Best Practices
And with that breadth of knowledge, a consultant can help you decide which best practices are the right fit for your team. Most developers and engineers expend tremendous effort working towards the best practices and technical standards available. And of course, architects and management want to ensure their teams’ efforts are not just strong but are well directed. An experienced consultant translates their findings into solutions that best fit your team and your problem. They can pave over potential pitfalls without flying off to become architecture astronauts addressing problems you may never have.
In isolation, even the best development shops can accumulate bad habits. A third-party code audit can:
- Bring a fresh perspective
- Jumpstart cross-pollination with other talent and knowledge available
- And find a course of action that best fits your business.