Press Release

Engineers Believe In Coding Standards But Fail To Enforce

New research shows majority of companies use coding standards but few take advantage of tools to ensure they are observed

LONDON, UK, February 2 2011 / — PRQA | Programming Research, the leading provider of coding standard compliance solutions, announces the results of a survey carried out to understand the use of coding standards across Europe.

The results show that embedded engineers are widely using coding standards, but failing to use tools that will allow them to enforce the use of these standards, relying on trust and manual checks. Without a proper approach to enforcement many of the benefits of using such standards will be lost, potentially leading to lower quality code and more bugs.

74% of respondents stated that they made use of coding standards, but only 35% of made use of static analysis tools that would ensure software engineers adhered to the standards. Manual code inspection and relying on trust has been shown to be a very ineffective way of enforcing coding standards, particularly in more complex sections of the code that will be more prone to bugs. Therefore almost half the companies that believe in the benefits of standards are failing to ensure compliance, which means that their code is likely to contain more bugs, be less maintainable and ultimately result in higher costs to the company.

“Whilst it is good news that the message about the benefits of coding standards has been taken on board by the majority of embedded development teams in Europe, it’s a real concern that only a third of companies use tools to ensure standards are observed,” said Paul Blundell, CEO of PRQA. “Using static analysis tools not only ensures compliance, but also ensures a consistent interpretation of the standard. We’re faced with a situation where two thirds of development teams could be cutting corners, misinterpreting or ignoring coding standards, despite three-quarters of engineers believing that standards result in higher-quality code.”
PRQA pioneered the use of static analysis technology to automatically enforce coding standards and are dominant player in the growing CSE (coding standard enforcement) space. QA·C and QA·C++ analysis tools can be directly targeted towards coding standard enforcement. Configuration of the message system and associated message text, help and classification can all be achieved to enforce the coding standard you need to comply with.

1 The survey was conducted in Q4 2010 and results are based on 219 responses. More information available on request.

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