If you want a product that works and people will enjoy, Number8 developers know to begin with quality code. Of course, writing is a skill that takes time and practice– we all can’t be masters of our craft from the get go. In fact, about 20% of a programmer’s time is actually spent writing the initial program. The majority of the time, the programmer is debugging (fixing errors) or maintaining (adding features to) the program being developed. If you want to cut down on the amount of time you spend going back and forth correcting errors and modifying features, it helps to have a flexible plan of attack for crafting great code as you write.
Here are some favorite tips for improving the quality of code from Number8 developers.
1. Storyboard your solution before you even begin coding.
Remember how you were taught to create an outline for a school paper before you actually wrote it? As it turns out, not everything they taught us in high school was useless.
2. If you can’t map out your logic on paper, you are not ready to start writing your code.
You should be confident enough in your vision to defend it to a judge.
3. Remember: it needs to be user friendly.
When you work on the technical side of things, like Number8 developers, it’s easy to get tunnel vision and forget that not everyone who is using this product will speak your language. Remember to take user friendliness into account if you want your end product to be successful.
4. Get a second opinion for your layout or logic
You never know what problems a fresh pair of eyes can point out. Be open to criticism and use it to become better, not bitter.
5. Comment, comment, and comment some more.
Number8 developers comment on everything they build in order to inform others that may be reading the code so readers know what exactly their intentions are. If your code isn’t easily read and understood by other developers, you could end up losing your job.
6. Be mindful when naming variables.
Haphazard names can lead to confusion when it comes to modifying or amending issues in your code. Your variables should be descriptive, but to the point, and able to be differentiated from other objects in your code.
7. There’s always something new to learn.
Mastering a code language takes lots of time. Be patient with yourself and open to learning new things, no matter what your expertise. Like any other language, whatever code you use can change and evolve with time, so it is up to you to work with it and adapt as needed.
8. Delete unnecessary code.
When you are writing code, be sure you “clean up” as you go and remove code that has no purpose. Leaving superficial code in your finished product may not have immediate implications, but it can cause problems and confusion later on.
9. Be consistent with your style.
If you are working with a team, before you begin you should all agree on standard practices for things such as how consistent your indentations should be. Once those guidelines are established for things such as whitespace, naming, commenting, and any other rules you establish, stick with them from beginning to end.
10. Look at other people’s great coding.
If you want to write great code, it helps to read great code. Just as a fiction writer needs to review the works of great authors throughout history, a developer should look at the back end of products they admire or want to emulate.
11. Don’t Repeat Yourself.
The DRY or DIE (“Duplication Is Evil”) principle states that “every piece of knowledge must have a single, unambiguous, authoritative representation within a system.” Overdefining or overwriting will make your final product clunky and inelegant.
At Number8, we help fast growing companies find quality software developers that creatively help teams with their product develop and IT operations using agile development. If you’re interested in learning more about Number8 developers and what we do, give us a call at (502) 890-7665, or check out our information page