Editorial Rss

Your Code Stinks

Code Smells is a term I picked up from the Agile Community. The term applies to any custom software system regardless of SDLC. I have heard it described as code that can be improved. Reasons I have seen for code improvement may be:
  • Readability
  • Maintainability
  • Streamlining
  • Optimizing
  • Applying a Pattern
  • Simplifying
  • Applying Development Standards
  • Fixing Errors

The primary reason it is called a Code Smell is that of timing. We don’t want to lose the fact that we found code that could use some loving care, but is not essential to fix immediately. Keeping track of Code Smells is a good way to fill lulls in software development. 

Code Smells are often used as a guide for new enhancements. Maybe fixing a code smell will make an enhancement easier to implement, or it may be essential to fix the smell before moving forward with future extensions. 

The point is to not worry about having code that isn’t pristine, and at the same time, not pretend that your code can’t be improved. By keeping track of code smells they are not lost or forgotten. Some teams actually keep a list of code smells on a white board for all to see, and address as time permits.

Does your code stink? Mine always does. How to you track and manage code that can wait to be improved? Share your Code Smells techniques here, or by email to