Fixing “bad code” isn’t always a bad thing

A study commissioned by Stripe has revealed that the Singapore economy has the potential to grow by S$1.6bn each year, if companies harness developer resources more effectively.

Conducted by Nielsen, it found that 90% of businesses in Singapore rely on software to launch products, demonstrating that most companies today are increasingly technology companies.

Presumably, this software refers to in-house applications built by internal development teams, given that over two-fifths of senior executives in Singapore said the lack of qualified software engineers and developers was one of their greatest challenges, more so than a lack of capital (34%).

At the same time, Stripe noted that businesses in Singapore are counting the cost of not using existing developer talent effectively enough, noting that “bad code” is costing local companies S$232m annually.

“Crucially, about a third of developers (32%) say that they’re spending at least half of their time reactively tackling “bad code” rather than working on strategic issues,” it said.

Out of all the countries surveyed, Singapore also had the highest number of developers (70%) reporting that the amount of time they spend on bad code was excessive.

In a statement on the release of the study, Stripe advocated the use APIs to automate peripheral business functions, speed up development time and improve developer productivity.

However, some companies like financial services firms may still need to fix the bad code on legacy systems, especially if these are systems of record, before they can implement an API strategy.

Unless a company is ready to rip everything apart and start building new applications from scratch, tackling “bad code” isn’t always counterproductive.

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