Programming is so simple that anyone can learn how to do it. However, writing a good program is very challenging and many programmers fail when they have to do this. For instance, in case of an added feature, some programmers do not even understand the code they wrote, which prompts them to make very many unnecessary changes to a program. This helps to erode the confidence of many amateur programmers, and sometimes even drives them to quit programming entirely. However, this can all change if you master some of the best development practices, which can help you write the clean code with minimal effort:
Programmers need to understand that they are not writing code for computers only, but for other people and most importantly, for themselves. That is why it is vital that they write readable code. When coding, you need to ensure that you follow a consistent naming rule. Use an expressive variable or method name as well as indentation and line breaks. This will help to standardize your code, and ensure that the way you write your variables throughout the code is the same.
This is a habit that tends to plague more experienced programmers who have learned a more complex skill set. They usually want to show off how good they are by adding complicated features to a project that does not need those features, which may end up destroying the entire project. Instead of doing this, focus on the main objective of the project you are working on and only add features that will help you achieve your desired goal.
The organization and code structure that you use will help a lot with readability. In this case, you need to group your code in order to ensure that it can be modified with ease. This is the only way you will be able to scroll up and down looking for any affected section of the code. However, you shouldn’t put all your code in a single file, as this will make it hard when it comes to debugging. It will help a lot if you separate your code into different files as per their primary functions. This way, the language you use will only fulfill a particular function.
Where there is code, there will always be a bug. Since it is impossible to code without bugs, it is only right to learn how to debug smartly. You need to equip yourself with the best debugging skills because debugging through trial and error does not help, and can turn into a huge waste of time. There are debuggers that have already been developed to help programmers debug easily and faster. Learn how to use them.
Only use a code that will require a few manual changes in the future. It will be very frustrating, tiring and time consuming if you will write a code that you cannot manage. You may end up changing everything line by line just because of one mistake. You could use an array which will help you store a variety of variables for easy access when you need them.
Planning is important as it will give you an idea of what you need to do before you start coding. Planning ahead helps a lot not just in programming world but in all other aspects of life. If you start coding without a clear picture of what you need to do, you may end up wasting a lot of time thanks to trial and error, which may cause burnouts and depression. Start by thinking about the procedure, then write a solution in form of a list of steps you will need to take to arrive at your desired goal.
These will help you to make changes without having to go through your whole code when you make a mistake. There are popular version control systems that you can use, such as Git. Git allows you to review the same project countless times, and just in case you need to go back to the code years later, the program makes it easy for you to go back to the code you need to modify without you having to make changes to the entire code.
It is very important to learn something new every time you have a chance, especially in this industry where things change every day. Therefore, if you do not keep learning and experimenting, you may end end up using old, outdated programming methods and skills which are no longer useful, and people will avoid working with you.
Using the right editor can make a huge difference in your projects. An editor can be a very good educational tool, and can make your work a lot easier. Even the most experienced programmers need to work with a good editor. For instance you could choose an editor with code completion.
Many people are tempted to use extra prototypes in order to avoid having to work on a project to the end. Despite the amount of work that needs to be done to complete the project, the best thing to do is just get it over and done with to the best of your ability. Using prototypes may be a handy shortcut to use, but they should only be utilized at the right stage in the project.
Skills are what define a good programmer, and what you can do is what will attract clients to you. therefore, it is important to ensure that you have the right skill set to allow you to work on the different projects your clients will want you to complete. Adopting the habits listed above will help you stay in the industry for longer, and you should try to master all of them if you would like to ensure your continued success as a computer programmer.