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One Year of Lessons from TechDebt/Refactoring Assessment

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It's been a year since the first version of Scertify TechDebt / Refactoring Assessment, our free & open-source plug-in to benchmark Technical Debt and Software Quality metrics of your projects, has been released. During this first year, it has been downloaded 1,164 times. 

An interesting thing to note about the plug-in, is that the benchmarking feature is based on an ever-growing database: TechDebt.org. So, the more users there are, the bigger the database gets and the more accurate benchmarks are.

Speaking of users, a few months after the first release, we added a feature to learn a bit more about you. In the plug-in’s configuration panel you can choose to indicate information: the size of your company (or if your using it personally) and your business sector. So, let's see, who are you dear users?

As we can see on the first diagram, more than a third of users come from IT consulting firms. That could be expected since those firms represents a huge portion of the IT sector. The “banks & insurances” field is also well represented with 12 users. The “telecoms & internet” and “research” sectors come next with respectively 7 and 4 users. The last quarter consist in people from tourism, energy, industry and other various sectors.

If we take a look at the second diagram we see that 36% of the users come from big companies that have more than 250 employees. Approximately 22% of users come from company that range from 50 to 250 employees. The same goes for companies between 10 to 50 users. Finally, only 5 users come from small companies under 10 people and 7 users use the plug-in for their personal usage.

How to explain those figures? One explanation could be that small companies like start-ups often focus on delivering features to acquire the first users. The main issue is on building a software that people will use. Technical debt & code quality will be addressed later on. That's understandable: what's the use of a perfectly beautiful, robust, efficient and scalable code if there is no user?

On the other hand, when a company starts growing and needs to manage the life-cycle of its applications, then technical debt has to be addressed.

Other information can be configured in the plug-in, like the applications' kind. Out of 4773 projects, only 1818 have been configured. Next time you use the plug-in please take 10 seconds to fill the information. Thanks a lot!

So, let's take a look at those 1818 projects. As we can see, most of the applications, 1289, are web-based. Management applications are also well represented and stand for nearly a quarter. On the other hand, frameworks, embedded applications and mobile applications count for only 18, 4 and 5 applications.

The fact that web applications and management applications are the most present isn't a surprising fact. However, this is quite surprising to see so few mobile applications. It is true that some mobile software are just simple apps with few screens and a shorter lifetime than non-mobile apps, but not all of them. It may be that mobile teams are not aware enough of technical debt and code quality problems.

Thanks to those users and for their help in the improvement of our products. You're not one of them? Don't worry, you can fix this here!

The DevOps zone is brought to you in partnership with Sonatype Nexus. Use the Nexus Suite to automate your software supply chain and ensure you're using the highest quality open source components at every step of the development lifecycle. Get Nexus today


Published at DZone with permission of Armel Gouriou. See the original article here.

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