A Guide to Software Understandability: Why It’s Essential To Every Developer

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Whether it’s debugging, modernizing your software, or finding information in a production environment, understandability is the answer. This Intellyx whitepaper takes an in-depth look at the concept of Software Understandability and why it’s so essential for developer teams - and every developer! -  to have it as a part of their workflow.  


When it comes to software development, why is it that developers’ code doesn’t always behave as they expect it to? Well, it all comes down to one missing key element of their workflow: software understandability. 


So what is software understandability? According to Intellyx, “Understandability is information about running code sufficient to understand its behavior on a line-by-line basis, regardless of the complexity of the production environment.


“Without understandability, those coders are working in the dark – and the risks inherent in introducing new bugs into production are substantial.” 


Developers must go through an extremely long process to get the data they need to understand what is happening in their code. Take debugging for example. When trying to find the root cause of a bug, a developer can face endless deployment cycles and wade through many log lines in their attempt to get the data they need to find the source of the issue. Without an understanding of what’s happening in their own code, productivity and velocity can plummet, involving unnecessarily long wait times, lots of wasted resources, and a great many unproductive hours. 


“The software in production may be changing as it’s scaling up (or down) – and the changes will typically take place too quickly for humans to manage.”



“An understandability tool... brings information about the running software in production to developers, providing visibility into how individual lines of code impact the behavior of running software, without impacting that software.”




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