Code Bloat: Another Unintended Consequence of Hyperscale Clouds

Technology has enabled a number of truly incredible advancements in the world. Deep Learning is increasingly solving problems that require human-like understanding. Machine-based vision will soon lead the way to safer, autonomous transportation, while image processing and rendering advancements have produced virtual and augmented realities. Ever-improving computing options have changed the game and the future of how we live, how we buy, how we interact, and beyond. A comparison between a mid-90s desktop computer to an average smartphone today makes the phone look like a supercomputer. Yet, it is interesting how some technologies are unexplainably slow while far more powerful than similar technologies of the past. When a phone takes 30 seconds more to boot up than the 2010-model phone that had 90 percent of the same features, or when a simple office suite stutters and makes you wait as it loads, there can only be one answer: “code bloat.”

Big Bloated Design

As computing systems have become faster, they have also become more complicated. Common hardware platforms have fully embraced GPUs and multi-core CPUs as the path forward for power-efficient performance. These elements are among the factors that can greatly complicate software design and have yet to be made right in many cases.

There are many reasons why code bloat can come to exist. For one, new features drive the sales of most consumer-level computing products. As long as those products work “well enough,” minimal emphasis is placed on performance optimizations, particularly in code. More horsepower is cheap enough to cover the gap. Well, the same is often true on the server side of things. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way coders got lazy due to the apparent abundance of compute resources offered by the public cloud and specifically AWS cloud. This is a culture shift, mostly driven by millennial developers, of putting things in the cloud and letting them run with little to no optimization.

Code Re-use making things worse

No earthly resource is truly infinite and to exasperate the situation, these developers who write software are a finite resource, so the reuse of common code has evolved into massive frameworks.   These bundles of reusable code, or libraries, attempt to provide solutions for huge swaths of common or tedious software design tasks. Unfortunately, trying to be everything to all people leads to code that may not be most efficient or correct. It is far too easy to continue to use bloated frameworks as a base and throw more compute at problems. After all, deadlines are tight, documentation is difficult, customization is the hard road, and the availability of one-size-fits-all frameworks can provide quick successes.

Bloat Pains

Every bit of code that a company puts out is a potential point of liability – in terms of security, reliability, and performance. It is important to note that code bloat can cost an organization tremendously, and drain profits. While extensive frameworks can help get things done, code bloat will cause many issues – some existential for a start-up:

  • Bad code – At some point, the bloat will cause a bottleneck somewhere in the system. Frameworks can be dirty in their overall approach and ambition. Inefficient processes will inevitably result in delays, loops, and null operations.
  • Bloated costs – A computer resource solutions approach can be seemingly invisible because everything ‘just works,’ but these costs can quickly creep up as an app is scaled.
  • Losing track of the basics – When there’s one job to do, the code should focus on delivering that job. Everything else is baggage.
  • Code management – Code requires management, auditing, security and occasional updating. Extraneous lines of code that do nothing or execute inefficiently increase the magnitude of impact once normal code operations take place.
  • Idle code – Code that serves no specific purpose can be a major source of distraction, confusion, and communications overhead.

Awesome Cloud

Development environments, application frameworks, SDKs, and other development tools serve a certain purpose in the right situations. And when you look around, a number of cloud solutions help provide the resources for these constructs to work together. However, as you can see, there are many opportunities to make code better, more agile, and lightweight. You should also consider the best cloud possible, an awesome cloud if possible.

Built towards specific purposes, a lean approach to code can improve reliability, efficiency, management, and reliability to countless applications. In a day and age where the everyday solution seems to be adding more everything to the application heap, Hostway provides an ideal environment for efficient code in a world faced with code bloat. It starts with building what you need, exactly how you need it. Hostway Hybrid cloud solutions are built on the DNA of efficient access to resources, interconnectivity, efficient management, development support, and more so that the enterprise and its developers can focus on creating what they want as efficiently as possible.

Give us a call today at 1-866-680-7556 or chat with a trusted expert, let’s clean the world of code together.