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Is Danger Lurking in Your Code?

Let’s take a ride into the danger code. Does your company still utilize homegrown legacy apps, those that were written “in house?” Yes? Well, then it’s time to do something about that old risky COBOL-esque language, to put it out of commission. Barring that, you’ll face an altogether different kind of problem, that of keeping the risky code up to date. According to an article by Minda Zetlin for The Enterprisers Project, you’re going to need a maverick programmer. She muses:

[It is a common] concern facing a growing number of companies as the Baby Boomer generation of IT marches steadily toward retirement. “How do you deal with the fact that your human capital has a lifespan?”

Four Top Strategies

  • Inventory
  • Replace
  • Document
  • Procure backup talent.

First, one must take stock of all the outdated applications with supporting information. In this scenario, size really does count, and knowing how large the problem is comes first. You’ll want to avoid customization, of course, since that’s exactly the kind of software you’re trying to replace. Off-the-shelf, from-a-vendor, software-as-a-service options are preferable.

Additionally, nobody really wants to document their software creations. But if you must keep a homegrown application, it really matters if you keep supporting documentation handy to maintain or change the code. This is especially important if you and your team don’t expect to be with the company forever.

Aside from just having documentation, you might want to ensure the proximity of staff that are knowledgeable about the code, or perhaps contractors who know how to deal with it. In the case that something goes wrong, you’ll want someone or some team to come to the rescue.

Read the original article here:

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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