If you have ever come across developers, you have surely heard stories about bad coding practices and how they affect the development process. As those developers could tell you, software development has a series of best coding practices that most of them are familiar with. They are included in development courses and shared across development teams. The only problem is that these practices are not standard. Also, they are not according to a specific method. There are special techniques that developers follow.
The core issue is that many of them do not follow these practices. For these developers, the only goal is to have the final product working as required. However, disregarding good practices intentionally can lead to software that can stop working at any moment. It offers lesser performance, or be hard to update.
That’s the reason why good practices are so important. They serve as guiding principles to follow throughout the development process to improve the final quality of the code. By sticking to them, teams can get products that are high performing. They have robust foundations for updating and upgrading them.
Why You Should Follow Best Practices
Following good practices smoothly runs all the development processes, as the whole team is in agreement about the work they are doing. Development teams that follow these practices have better communication. Also, understand the roles of each other, and can prioritize their work, making the whole life cycle run efficiently.
Increased Efficiency and Enhanced Productivity
When an entire team follows the best practices, everyone has a clear understanding of the project. As a result, it leads to lesser errors and a reduced need for constant fixes. It maximizes the efficiency of everything developers code, which ultimately translates into greater productivity.
Better Product Quality
Peer reviews and comments allow teams to find bugs and problems soon. So, they work on bug fixes before the product goes to production. That means there will be fewer issues down the line. And it will result in better performance and a more stable product.
Working in a Systematic Way
Most development teams use management platforms to track their performance. But they can go beyond that by using tags. Through them, a team can have a more systematic file structure, all linked with the tasks at hand. This makes it easier for developers to identify what they have to work on at any given time. Also, it enables them to organize their jobs.
All these aspects discussed above (increased efficiency and productivity, improved workflow, better product quality) converge into cost-saving. That’s because a team that follows good practices spends less time fixing bugs. And gets the most out of the time they work on a specific task.
Now let’s review a handful of essential practices you need to follow:
4 Essential Best Coding Practices for Software Development
Any expert software developer might identify that four practices do not even begin to cover the wide range of good practices you should be following. That might be true, but for this article’s purposes, those four practices are enough to form an underlying basis that can help you achieve greater code quality.
Without going into further discussion, the four essential practices include the following:
When a developer works on their code, they develop a logic that isn’t always easy to follow by others. That’s why commenting code is such a good option. It provides necessary explanations of code. As a result, it helps other developers learn about the work and it can be used later on.
Comments are simple annotations meant to make the code understandable for anyone. Many developers believe that commenting is a waste of time, but that is not true at all. Even when comments feel redundant, they are purposeful. From reminding the developer of the logic behind a line of code to enabling beginners on how to do things right.
Another important element of good software development, peer review, explains that all the code written by a developer is always reviewed by some other person. This simple step allows developers to hand over their work for a fresh view that can find errors within the code more easily. Also, pointing bugs out before they become bigger problems.
Peer review should be a standard process in all types of projects, and it can help you effectively manage bigger and more complex projects. If a developer ends up writing a code that wasn’t reviewed, they put the whole product to possibly more significant problems that can increase the costs and efforts to fix it. That’s why it is the best approach to encourage collaboration between developers to review each other’s code.
A pull request happens whenever a developer informs the rest of the team about changes in the code and they are to be pushed to the main database. You can imagine a pull-request system as a warning system in which developers tell one another that there are changes in the code that need to be reviewed and discussed before further development. In addition to it, pull requests combine comments and peer reviews into one practice, even in cases when they aren’t necessarily the same.
One of the most ignored practices in all software development, including tags is highly beneficial for the development process. It is due to the reason that tags allows developers to quickly identify the different files they are working on a particular project. Thus, they can access them quickly while refining their overall organization. Tags can also help find features, bug fixes, and required improvements, which ultimately leads to all sorts of things required in a particular project.
Developing the Software Product the Right Way
At OptimusFox, we follow a policy that is strictly followed to carry out good coding practices to ensure the best results for our projects. The way we see it, these practices are the fundamentals of good software development, as they provide high-quality products that are easier to maintain, update, and upgrade. Our own experience in the IT industry drives us to follow good coding practices, and we have seen that they help in successfully completing the projects assigned to us.