Developer’s Guide to Writing Effective Code
Writing truly readable, quality code is a tough task. Read on for some best practices on making your code both functional and easily understandable.
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Without a doubt, coding is a tough job. Hell, a lot of things have been said about the ease of learning a programming language, but it’s a beast of a challenge when you actually implement that knowledge and understanding to a complex problem. If you had a look at some old code, it must have been messy, unclear or jumbled as if it was written while a developer was having a fight at his desk. And believe me, there is no place for such code now, especially because of the demand to be scalable.
Before going through the ways to write effective code, let us quickly look at the benefits of writing clean code:
Makes it easier to solve problems. If you are an engineer, this one is for you. Imagine a situation where messy code is thrown at you and you are expected to make a functionality work in an hour’s time. Is it as easy as the client feels? I’m sure it is not!
Saves time in maintenance. Clean code is easier to understand so if you have a maintenance task on hand, it will help you spend less time on identifying specific segments so that you can focus your energies on fixing or revising the code.
Clear indications of the functionalities. A complex project is usually distributed among the team of developers and neat code allows each one of them to identify the idea behind a particular code and do the rest.
So, how should you begin writing clean and effective code?
The great way to get started is to use naming conventions. It keeps things clear and allows you to know what you are working with. It also means you won’t accidentally try to use a string of text in a math equation.
A naming convention means you decide to call variables by names that are self-explanatory and does not confuse anybody, including you.
This is absolutely straightforward, though I understand that some coders hate taking extra time to add comments. Comments are also important so that if your or another programmer comes back to the code for modifications in future, the code is easily understood.
This simply explains everything. If code has comments, it helps you in identifying the problem easier, and fix the code in less time.
White space makes the code longer but readable, this is what everyone, including the coder, fellow programmers, and the client wants. Using whitespace, though, can add a few kilobytes to the file size.
So in general, if you are writing lots of things together in one block, it is normally advisable to break it into a logical chunk.
These things help a programmer to deliver bug-free, clear, and performant code.
Published at DZone with permission of Hemang Rindani. See the original article here.
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