If you use an older programming language for your codebase, there may be a perfectly reasonable explanation for doing so. Maybe you feel as if you don’t have the time or resources required to update your codebase. Or perhaps you don’t see the business need for switching.
While it can feel comfortable to continue using an old language, you’ll want to fight this urge to maintain complacency. The advantages of updating your codebase to a modern language greatly outweigh any short-term benefit derived from staying put.
Adapting to a modern language may feel like too big of an obstacle to tackle, but there are multiple reasons to do so. With the right plan in place, you can avoid the numerous challenges you’ll see if you remain stuck in the past.
Here are four reasons why you should update your codebase to a modern language, and why after doing so, your software developers will thank you.
Eliminate Obsolete Code
When you use out-of-date programming languages, you run the risk of using old code. This code could be obsolete and harder to update. It can also have cascading effects that contribute to problems for multiple teams’ pipelines.
When you have teams with interdependencies, they need every team to be operating at maximum capacity. It’s harder to do this with outdated code. Moving to a modern programming language helps you operate from the newest code and everything that comes with the new version. This could include useful APIs or other modernizations that make your developers’ lives easier.
Picture the last time your developers dealt with a bug. It likely caused problems for not one, but multiple team members. By taking the steps to update your codebase, you’ll cut down on performance issues tied to old code. It will include all the previous updates, including patches and bug fixes, that will lead to better overall performance.
Rest assured your developers will appreciate this. They’re already busy enough as it is – they don’t want to worry about issues related to code that’s well past its expiration date.
Attract Top Talent by Updating Your Codebase
It’s no secret that it’s never been more challenging to recruit, hire, and retain top candidates in a variety of fields. The Great Resignation has hit just about every sector of our economy, challenging companies to put their best foot forward to attract the very talent.
More than ever, getting the best software developers in the (virtual) door means you’ll need to state your organization’s case for why it’s the best place to work. What can you offer that gives you an edge over your competitors? How can you differentiate yourselves?
One way to do that is to update your codebase to a modern language. The top candidates hitting the market at any given point in time will likely be working from current programming languages. They may be well-versed in older languages as well, but you can be certain they’ll have a firm grasp on whatever is the industry standard at the time.
When you update your codebase, you can speak to these candidates at their level. You can assure them they won’t fall behind by joining your team. Every new developer is looking to set themselves up not just for the role they’re taking, but for the roles they will take in the future as well. By adopting a programming language that’s accepted across your industry, you’ll become a more attractive option for driven and career-focused developers.
Increase Effectiveness and Efficiency
As an organization, you’ll want to be forward leaning in all things you do, with an eye toward the future. This is important because it helps you stay on top of the latest trends in software development, keeping you on the cutting edge. Whether it’s using the most current IT tools or having tested processes in place, staying up-to-date helps you ensure your team is more effective and efficient. You’ll perform better, and you’ll streamline your operations, preventing costly and time-consuming change processes later when they’re mandated and/or unavoidable.
Updating your codebase to a modern language is no different. You’ll want your developers to use languages that are at the forefront of your industry. This allows them to operate using the best possible code, but also save time by working with a language that other developers are already using. You prevent them from falling behind and promote better continuity of operations.
Lighten the Load for Future Upgrades
Upgrading your libraries can be difficult no matter how complex or involved the needed changes might be. Modernizing your code involves communicating the upcoming changes with your organization with enough lead time and then guiding them through the transition. It also involves monitoring how your developers are performing and adapting to their needs based on their performance.
No matter how tough an upgrade might be, there’s one other major advantage to modernizing your code: it helps make any additional upgrades in the future more likely to go smoother.
The fewer changes you can implement in one release, the easier it will be on your organization as a whole. Modernizing your code helps facilitate future upgrades, lightening the load your developers face within each subsequent release.
Think of it in terms of a dentist visit. If you go every few years, you’re more likely to have lots of problems. When you go every six months, you’re less likely to need multiple fillings and root canals. Consistent, incremental maintenance decreases the amount of work that will need to be done on each visit. The same is true of modernizing your codebase. It facilitates future process changes without overwhelming your developers during any one update period.
Yes, modernizing your codebase can be a tough task. All change management processes have some degree of difficulty involved. But embracing change and moving into it headlong has multiple benefits. The sooner you ask your developer team to begin the process, the better off your team will be from a number of perspectives.
Need help updating your codebase? EC Group creates teams to complement your in-house developers. Learn more about how we can help.