Code Quality Basics - What Is Code Complexity?


350,000 Learners are learning everyday with our Best Selling Courses : Microservices, Spring, Spring Boot, Web Services, Hibernate, Full Stack React, Full Stack Angular, Python, Spring Interview Guide, Java Interview, Java Functional Programming, AWS, Docker, Kubernetes, PCF, AWS Fargate and Azure

In this article, we find out what code complexity is, and how we keep track of it.

You will learn

  • What Is Code Complexity?
  • What are a few examples of Code Complexity?
  • Why Is Code Complexity important?
  • What are the tools you can use to measure Code Complexity?
  • How can ensure that Code Complexity standards are Adhered to?

Free Courses - Learn in 10 Steps

Article Series

This is third article in a series of 6 articles on important code quality terminology:

What Is Code Complexity?

Code Complexity is a measure of how difficult your code is to understand.

  • Suppose you have just written a method having 15 if conditions and 3 for loops. How easy do you think it is to understand?
  • Think of a class we have written that has 25 member variables and 75 methods, where some of these methods are huge, having a lot of if conditions and for loops. Is this an easy class to understand?

Measuring Code Complexity

Measuring Cyclomatic And Cognitive Complexity

Cyclomatic complexity is a way of measuring complexity taking into account

  • The number of if else switch conditionals
  • The number of loops - for , while and do while

There is a way to measure the code complexity in SonarQube as well:

image info

You can see that the TreeFactory.java has a cyclomatic complexity measure of 366. That means this class might be a little difficult to understand.

Let’s pick up another file which has a lower complexity listed:

image info

You can see that the findMemberType() method is being highlighted. When you click on it, you get some additional info:

image info

It says that the method has a different complexity measure, the cognitive complexity, that is bad for the code here. It suggests that we refactor this method to correct the complexity.

If you look at this method: image info

It has for loops, if, conditional operator at multiple places, all in interesting combinations!

A complex method is often a sign that the developer has not thought enough about the code.

Understanding Code Complexity

Whenever we write code, we need to keep things small. Simple methods, small classes, small packages, simple components all lead to small and simple applications.

The goal of writing code is not to write large amounts of it, but to achieve a certain functionality. The aim is to achieve that functionality with as little code and complexity as possible.

PMD is also a good static analysis tool to assess code complexity, apart from Sonar.

Addressing Code Complexity

In order to address the problem of complexity, you need to identify it early and monitor it on a regular basis.

You need to include code complexity goals as a major part of your coding standards. These should be regularly tracked.

Do check out our video on the same topic:

image info

Summary

Code complexity is a measure of how difficult it is to understand your code. Generally, large method and classes are code smells. There are different measures for code complexity, and various tools to measure them as well. Keep Refactoring code to reduce complexity.

What to Learn Next?

350,000 Learners are learning everyday with our Best Selling Courses : Microservices, Spring, Spring Boot, Web Services, Hibernate, Full Stack React, Full Stack Angular, Python, Spring Interview Guide, Java Interview, Java Functional Programming, AWS, Docker, Kubernetes, PCF, AWS Fargate and Azure


85,000 Subscribers are learning from our Free Videos on YouTube : JSP Servlets, Spring, Spring Boot, Spring MVC, Hibernate, Eclipse, Maven, JUnit, Mockito, Full Stack - React, Full Stack - Angular, Docker, Kubernetes, AWS, AWS Fargate, PCF and Azure


Here are the recommend articles to read next : Spring Interview Questions, Spring Boot Interview Questions, Microservices, Hibernate, Spring Security, REST API with Spring Boot, Full Stack with React, SOAP Web Services, Exception Handling, Embedded Servers, Spring Data Rest, Spring vs Spring MVC vs Spring Boot, Building Web Application and Spring Data JPA. You can checkout all our 100+ articles here - All Articles.


Do not know where to start your learning journey? Check out our amazing learning paths: Learning Path 01 - Spring and Spring Boot Web Applications and API Developer, Learning Path 02 - Full Stack Developer with Spring Boot, React & Angular, Learning Path 03 - Cloud Microservices Developer with Docker and Kubernetes, Learning Path 04 - Learn Cloud with Spring Boot, AWS, Azure and PCF and Learning Path 05 - Learn AWS with Microservices, Docker and Kubernetes


Related Posts

Deploy Java Spring Boot Applications to AWS, Azure, GCP with Docker and Kubernetes

In this article, we focus our attention on the cloud. How to learn the cloud and deploy Java Spring Boot Applications to AWS, Azure, GCP with Docker and Kubernetes?

Software Design - Single Responsibility Principle - with examples

For me, Single Responsibility Principle is the most important design principle. What is Single Responsibility Principle? How do you use it? How does it help with making your software better? Let's get started.

Spring Boot Tutorials for Beginners

At in28Minutes, we are creating a number of tutorials with videos, articles & courses on Spring Boot for Beginners and Experienced Developers. This resources will help you learn and gain expertise at Spring Boot.

Microservices with Spring Boot and Java - Part 1 - Getting Started

Let's learn the basics of microservices and microservices architectures. We will also start looking at a basic implementation of a microservice with Spring Boot. We will create a couple of microservices and get them to talk to each other using Eureka Naming Server and Ribbon for Client Side Load Balancing. In part 1 of this series, lets get introduced to the concept of microservices and understand how to create great microservices with Spring Boot and Spring Cloud.

20+ Spring Boot Projects with Code Examples

At in28Minutes, we have created more than 20 projects with code examples on Github. We have 50+ articles explaining these projects. These code examples will you learn and gain expertise at Spring Boot.

REST API Best Practices - With Design Examples from Java and Spring Web Services

Designing Great REST API is important to have great microservices. How do you design your REST API? What are the best practices?

Index - 500+ Videos

At in28Minutes, we are creating a number of tutorials with videos, articles & courses on Spring Boot for Beginners and Experienced Developers. Here's a list of video tutorials and courses for you

Creating Spring Boot and React Java Full Stack Application with Maven

This guide helps you create a Java full stack application with all the CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) features using React as Frontend framework and Spring Boot as the backend REST API. We use Maven as the build tool.

Creating a SOAP Web Service with Spring Boot Starter Web Services

Let's learn how to create a SOAP Web Service with Spring Boot Starter Web Services. We will take a Contract First approach by definining an XSD and exposing a WSDL from it.