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Improving Code Readability

DZone 's Guide to

Improving Code Readability

Readable code is usable code.

· Performance Zone ·
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Readable code is usable code.


The world’s greatest chefs never put anything on the plate that will never be eaten, this rule corresponds to the YAGNI principle in Software Engineering. The non-used code blocks saved for future use are sometimes forgotten and another developer could not be in want of changing the code of the legacy system. Such non-used code blocks may affect code readability in the future. We are lucky today many code review tools exist for coding mistakes etc., but using tools is not enough to help code readability.

You may also like: 10 Tips for Improving the Readability of Your Code

According to my observations, three important elements of the Software Development Process affect code readability: Sufficient Experience, Coding Standards and Code Review Process (Figure 1).

Code Readability Factors

Figure 1. The Code Readability Factors


Regardless of the Software Development Process Type (Agile/Waterfall etc.), the Code Review is an inevitable part of the development process. The Code Review Process should be supported by coding standards.

Quality of the documentation and coding standards are very helpful to get over the understandability of the source code for new developers. Coding standards are a must for the code review process.

Software developers are not always working on new projects, maintaining the legacy system is the main task mostly. According to how old the legacy system, some complicating reasons may reveal because 20 years ago software development is very very different than today except such Oracle PL\SQL programs. Developer’s experience is another factor for affect code readability for old legacy projects.

Today, many code quality and bug finder tools are used for minimalizing code defects but they are limited to find design mistakes. When we look at the literature, design mistakes are commonly found reengineering phase of the Software Development Process.

Further Reading

Clean Code Isn't a Goal, but a Solution: How to Write Clean Code and Why It Matters

Clean Code — Robert C. Martin's Way

Topics:
sofware development ,code quality ,code review ,code readability ,sufficient experience ,coding standards ,performance

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