Frequent problems such as inadequate naming conventions, extensive assignments, unwise design choices, and needless repetition of computing instructions are all too familiar to software developers. Despite being skilled in identifying these mistakes made by others, it can be tough for many programmers to admit their own errors in this regard.
Even with the best intentions, software engineers can sometimes produce code that falls short of the optimal standard, especially when under pressure from tight deadlines or needing to shift attention to other parts of the project. It is crucial to recognize that software of higher quality can be created by acknowledging the possibility that code may, at times, fail to meet the expected standards.
It is evident that this issue has far-reaching consequences for everyone involved. Failure to tackle it could lead to consumers receiving an inferior product, depriving them of the best software experience. Developers, too, would suffer the consequences, facing challenges in providing updates, incorporating new features, and undertaking routine maintenance. These benefits alone should be sufficient motivation to encourage you to enhance your coding skills.
To achieve the benefits of cleaner code, it is essential to bear in mind these four criteria.
Strive for Maximum Readability
It is commonly agreed that any skilled programmer recognizes the importance of composing coherent and easily comprehensible code, particularly in today’s era where multiply developers frequently collaborate. Even if you are solely responsible for a project, it is to your benefit to guarantee that the code is readable and easily understandable.
It is crucial to make sure that your code is easily readable since this will allow you to gain a better grasp of it, making it easier to maintain and support. Additionally, there are other aspects to examine in order to fully comprehend your code, but these become inconsequential if the code is not presented in a legible format.
Thankfully, there are several simple techniques that can be utilized to enhance the readability of your code. It is crucial to choose appropriate and meaningful names for your variables and classes, as this will facilitate better understanding of the code with minimal need for explanation. Strive to employ language that is unambiguous, succinct and can be promptly comprehended.
Remember that keeping functions brief can have a positive effect on the legibility of code. Abiding by a straightforward guideline while writing code can significantly reduce the length of functions. The primary objective should be to ensure that each function performs only one task.
By making minor modifications, it is feasible to enhance the legibility and comprehensibility of your code. Recommendations for appropriate solutions are welcomed, but it is vital to refrain from sacrificing the readability of the code, as reading the code will consume considerably more time than developing it.
Ensure High Priority for Code Commenting
It is crucial to keep in mind that enhancing the legibility of your code does not automatically guarantee better understanding. Whilst it is important to make your code easily understandable for optimal comprehension, concentrating excessively on legibility can result in losing sight of the actual meaning behind the code.
It is crucial to recognize that names, one-liners, and other forms of wordplay can be deceptive and may not consider the reader’s prior knowledge. An effective approach to prevent any possible ambiguity is to incorporate comments to the code. Despite not being the most efficient use of a developer’s time, adding comments to the code can be incredibly helpful when evaluating the work of other people or when returning to the code at a later time.
Code commenting is an immensely advantageous practice, as it can offer a deeper understanding of your program’s functionality and the reasoning behind its design. This information can be incredibly valuable during the maintenance phase as it assists in comprehending each line of code, identifying alternative routes for adding new features or improving existing ones.
Avoid Code Replication
While it may be common to have the belief that “everyone does it,” engaging in this behavior does not necessarily imply that it is appropriate. In reality, there are instances when the drawbacks associated with duplicating lines or blocks of code outweigh the benefits.
Copying code can contribute to unwanted bulk in an application, requiring extra space and causing delays when being utilized by real users. Even if these delays are just a few milliseconds or take up minimal space, removing them could still be advantageous, resulting in a more seamless application.
Furthermore, there is technical debt that arises from code replication. This technical debt becomes more apparent when incorporating new features, making alterations, or even performing regular program maintenance. To ensure the program runs more efficiently, it is suggested to dedicate time to streamline or eliminate duplicate code.
Lastly, security issues and potential bugs need to be taken into account when recycling code. Any weaknesses in the source code will be replicated, and all replicated code must be recognized and removed. It is not advisable to utilize copied code from a security standpoint, as it may contain unfamiliar vulnerabilities that could jeopardize the program.
The problem of code duplication has several drawbacks linked to it. However, this issue can be solved in a simple way. By isolating the problematic code into its own function or class, and then invoking that function or class from any place it was previously utilized, the complications arising from this scenario can be eliminated.
Regularly Practice Exam Creation
Programmers might be hesitant to comply with requests to test their code. This is probably due to the difficulty of creating assessments and the lack of expertise in this field. Testing is a critical stage in the development process, and hence should not be disregarded.
While it is accurate that testing or QA assurance teams can be recruited to execute testing work, this does not contribute to enhancing programming skills. To elevate coding abilities, it is essential to acquire knowledge on how to construct and execute tests. The insights obtained from this process can lead to better-quality code and can streamline the testing process, ultimately resulting in an advanced end product.
Acquiring knowledge on test-writing techniques is critical to ensure efficient testing of your code. This enables thorough automated checking and validation of your code. Essentially, you are simplifying the testing process by facilitating the validation of individual code segments. This is associated with fundamental development techniques, like reducing the number of code paths to enhance testability.
Enhancing the Process of Composing Improved Code
Creating code that is easy to read, free of replication, and can be adequately tested might be challenging. However, this is not an unattainable goal. It is advisable to thoughtfully contemplate the recommendations provided, as it may be the solution to a successful outcome.
It can be tough to amend your coding techniques and make conscious alterations, especially after using the same harmful strategies for an extended duration. In order to develop your coding abilities, it is crucial to exert effort toward altering your routine.
Apart from this, the path to better code is clear. To reach your objectives, all that is required is the determination to succeed.