Reusable software code is the practice of building a library of generic software code that developers are able to utilise across multiple projects. While this practice isn’t new, in recent years, an increasing number of organisations are beginning to put the practice into action. So how can reusable software benefit your organisation?
One of the ‘Big Four’ banks has reported an 83% drop in system incidents compared to what it experienced back in 2007. They attributed the improvement of its system stability to the overhaul of its technology, in which they were able to deliver faster and at a lower cost through the use of reusable software code.
“Being able to leverage from a library resource of reusable code will not only reduce the system’s time-to-market, but also cut the cost of developing the application. It is also less risky for clients as the code have already been tried, tested and refined,” commented Kareem Tawansi, CEO of software development provider, Solentive Software.
Reusing code makes sense, so why isn’t this practice more common? “It takes time to build a substantial code library that developers are able to draw from when developing an application. It requires constant thought leadership where developers need to continually think about how they can write a piece of code so that it can be reused, without modification, across different applications,” explained Tawansi.
Further effort is required to write code to ensure that it is reusable, than it is to write code that will only be used once. Documentation must be written and the code needs to be maintained for compatibility across multiple operating systems. Therefore, organisations need to determine how often the code will be reused to justify the additional effort required. If the code can be reused in multiple applications to justify the initial investment, then there will be significant savings in time and cost to the benefit of the client.
In order to develop a sizable code library and use it successfully, organisations must first ingrain this in the company’s culture and provide support for the significant initial investment required. Reusable code needs to be developed systematically, rather than opportunistically. By introducing productivity policies and benchmarks, organisations will be able to encourage the development of reusable software code for increased efficiency.