How often do we consider the maintenance and general maintainability of our websites and apps? What steps do we actively take to make and keep them maintainable? What stands in the way when we maintain our and other people’s projects?
Many of us, as web developers, know very well how to code something. But whether we know just as well how to maintain what we—and others—have written, that is not so clear. Our bosses and clients may not always think about maintenance down the road, either.
As an O’Reilly author and former Googler, I’ve been studying the topic of maintainability since 2008—and we have yet to gather our industry’s views on the subject. To help us all get a better picture of how we maintain and how we can maintain more effectively, I set up a brief, unassuming survey (announcement) and kindly ask for your assistance.
The survey aims to collect specific practices and resources—in other words, your views on current practices (both useful and harmful) and everything you find helpful:
- What helps maintenance?
- What prevents maintenance?
- What resources do developers turn to for improving maintainability?
The outcome of the survey and an updated guide to web maintainability will be published in a few weeks on my website, meiert.com (and noted on my Twitter profile). Thank you for your support.
8 Reader Comments
Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer!.
Hey Jens Oliver Meiert, Can’t find your survey report, can you please share in the comments. Thank you
The survey is now closed and all raw feedback available: https://meiert.com/en/blog/20170616/maintainability-survey-results/.
Work on an updated guide on maintainability is in progress—thanks everyone who participated in the survey (and sorry for any troubles, I dropped the ball keeping an eye on comments here).
Website maintenance is very important to clients. Many have small businesses and they have to do it for themselves once the site is up and running.
Nice article and so true!
Very informative and you did best survey. Keep updating us.
Good commenting is essential to maintenance. I find my own code hard enough to decipher, so years ago I started writing inner documentation in my programs. As I get older, it is harder to remember details; good commenting really helps me. Nothing sucks worse than maintaining old code that was never documented or commented, but if all else fails, do an IBM standard template flow diagram and backfill the details after you discover the main loops and subroutines.
Machine language? Forget maintenance, rewrite it every time with the latest compiler/assembler!
Thanks. I answered your survey
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