Do We Even Want This Code?

Your company just acquired a start-up; your business unit is absorbing another in the big reorganization; your tiny but successful company just got bought by a mega corp. Whatever the reason, you're suddenly looking at a bunch of code that your group didn't write, and wondering what to do next.

Should you carefully integrate it into your own code base? Or should you rewrite it from the ground-up? Is it a well-written, well-architected system that will be trivial to merge with your own? Or is it a big hot mess that you'll have to spend months untangling before you can even start adding new features?

Dear me, had some cowboys in here

If you're not a programmer yourself, you may not know. If you're a current or former programmer, you may have already made up your mind - but you still need to convince your managers. Either way, an independent code audit is a good place to start.

A code audit can give you an idea of the level of technical debt you'd be inheriting by taking on this code. It can give you the reassurance that this code won't seriously disrupt your plans, or the warning that you should just scrap it entirely. Of course, it's possible that you haven't been given any choice - the word has come from higher up that you will be using this code. In that case, it might be worth doing a code audit so that you know what you're getting into. You might not be able to say "no" to an incoming mess, but you might be able to get the support you need to make phase 0 into a major cleanup and refactoring project. At the very least, it'll help you decide how best to allocate your development resources.

And if you're in the rare situation of having multiple code bases to choose from (e.g., "which of these two companies should I buy in order to acquire their intellectual property?"), a code audit can help you decide which one is the right fit for your circumstances.

Interested in a code audit? CodeWise can help!