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It is not enough for the code to work. This is a quote by Robert C. Martin from his popular book, Clean Code. This tells a lot about coding, when we write code our priority is to make that work. But in this approach, we tend to ignore the code quality. We just find a way to see that the code is doing its job. Sometimes, we also added the improving code to the to-do list for the future.
If we write quality code initially, we don’t need to have to write code twice just for making it better. Also, high-quality code leads to fewer bugs, faster development, easier maintenance, and better user experience. Therefore, developers must write better code in the first place.
There are various methods, tips, and practices that you can follow while writing the code. In this article, we are going to look into some of those that will help you in writing better code.
So, let’s get started.
Write clean code
Writing code is easy but writing readable code is kind of requires quality. Always try to write code that other developers can also understand. In real life, most of the projects are done in a team. That’s it become one of the essential things to do.
In my opinion, clean code is code that is easy to read, understand, and modify. It’s code that follows established conventions, uses descriptive names for variables and functions, and avoids overly complex logic or nesting. But clean code is more than just adhering to certain guidelines or practices. It’s about striving for simplicity and clarity and making code that is a joy to work with.
You can use the following to make your code cleaner and more readable:
- Consistency: By establishing and following coding conventions and guidelines, engineering teams can ensure that all members of the team are on the same page and that the codebase is consistent in terms of style, naming conventions, and formatting.
- Continuous improvement: Finally, by adopting clean code practices and continually reviewing and refactoring code, engineering teams can continuously improve the quality and maintainability of their software over time.
It is one of the principles that stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid(KISS). Rather than increasing the complexity of the code, we should focus on making it simpler. This can help you in reducing the bug. Also, it will be easier for other developers to work with the code.
Implement the KISS principle with the following:
- Set clear expectations: Make sure that the team is aware of the KISS principle and its importance in software development. Ensure that everyone understands the objective of keeping things simple.
- Use simple design patterns: The team should follow simple design patterns that can help create a scalable and maintainable codebase.
- Embrace simplicity in code: The team should strive to keep the code as simple and straightforward as possible. Avoiding over-engineering and using the most straightforward and intuitive
approach to solve a problem is often the best solution.
Write modular code
Write modular code for reducing the complexity of the code. Writing modular code means writing code that is small and can be reused. This makes the code less complex and more readable. Modular codes make it easy to maintain and update.
Write modular code with the following tips:
- Identify code modules: The first step is to identify areas of the code that can be modularized.
- Extract modules: Once the team has identified areas of the code that can be modularized, they can extract them into separate modules.
- Test modular code: Testing is crucial to ensure that the code works as intended. The team should develop a testing strategy that tests each module independently to ensure that it works as intended.
DRY stands for Don’t Repeat Yourself. It says a lot about this principle of not repeating the code. Don’t write duplicate code in the project. Write code once that can be reused again if required. The DRY principle is closely related to the concept of modularity in software design, which involves breaking down a system into smaller, more manageable components.
DRY can implement in your programming through:
- Code reviews: Code reviews are an excellent opportunity to identify duplicate code. The team can review code and identify instances where code is being duplicated.
- Create reusable code libraries: The team can create libraries of reusable code that can be used across different projects. This can save time and effort in developing new features and functionalities.
- Use templates and frameworks: Templates and frameworks can be used to eliminate redundant code. For instance, frameworks such as Angular and React can be used to simplify front-end development, reducing the amount of code that needs to be written.
Avoid hard-coded value
Hard coding values are a common issue that can lead to problems in software development. It should be avoided as it can create confusion for other devs regarding its purpose. It can also confuse the reason for choosing it.
Implement this in your code with this:
- Use configuration files: The team can use configuration files to store values that are used throughout the codebase.
- Define constants: The team can define constants for values that are used multiple times in the codebase. This approach ensures that the value is consistent throughout the code and allows for easier maintenance.
- Use environment variables: Environment variables can be used to store values that are specific to the environment where the code is running.
Use version control
Just don’t mindlessly code even if you are an individual developer. You should use version control like Git to keep track of changes to the code. If you work in a team then it’s a must. It will help with tracking changes and also with reverting to the previous changes if necessary. There are plenty of benefits to using version control.
Implement Version control in your application:
- Choose a version control system: There are several version control systems available, including Git, SVN, and Mercurial. Choose a system that fits the team’s requirements.
- Create a repository: Once the version control system is chosen, create a repository to store the codebase.
- Set up the development environment: Configure the development environment to use the version control system. Developers should be able to check out the code from the repository, make changes, and commit the changes back to the repository.
- Establish branching and merging strategy: Establish a branching and merging strategy for the team.
- Create a workflow: Create a workflow for the team to follow when working with the codebase.
- Integrate with other tools: Integrate the version control system with other tools used by the team, such as issue trackers, continuous integration servers, and code review tools.
Refactor you code
Refactoring can be defined as the process of improving existing code by changing its functionality. When you first write your code, most probably you will focus on functionality. In this scenario, you might neglect the code quality. So, it became necessary to go back to the code and have a second view of that. This will help you in finding a better way of writing the code in many places of your program. Regularly reviewing your code and refactoring it to eliminate duplication, reduce complexity, and improve readability can help improve code quality over time.
Implement refactoring with the following:
- Identify code smells: The first step in refactoring is to identify the code smells, which are the signs that the codebase needs refactoring.
- Plan the refactoring: Once the code smells have been identified, plan the refactoring. Determine the scope of the refactoring and the changes that need to be made.
- Write tests: Before refactoring, write tests to ensure that the code is still functioning as expected after the changes have been made.
- Refactor the code: Refactor the code based on the plan created in step 2. Use refactoring techniques such as extract method, extract class, inline method, and others to simplify the codebase.
- Test the refactored code: After the refactoring is complete, run the tests written in step 3 to ensure that the code is still functioning as expected.
- Monitor and optimize: Monitor the refactored code to ensure that it is performing optimally. If necessary, optimize the code further.
Optimize your code for performance
Performance is one of the most important aspects of improving code quality. It focuses on making it load and runs faster with fewer resources. In web development, the loading speed of your website matters a lot in terms of SEO and ranking. It also depends on the network and connection you are using for your project.
You can try to optimize for performance with the following:
- Use profiling tools: Profiling tools can help identify the slow parts of the code that need optimization. The team can use profiling tools to identify the bottlenecks and focus on optimizing the parts of the code that will have the most significant impact on performance.
- Optimize algorithms: Choosing the right algorithm for a particular task can have a massive impact on performance. The team can evaluate and optimize the algorithms used in the code to make it run faster.
- Use caching: Caching can be used to store the results of expensive computations and avoid recalculating them every time.
- Reduce I/O operations: I/O operations can be slow and often become the bottleneck in an application.
Improving code quality is an essential aspect of software development that can lead to more reliable, maintainable, and scalable code. By following these tips and best practices, developers can write code that is easier to understand, modify, and extend. By focusing on readability, maintainability, testing, and performance, developers can ensure that their code meets the highest standards of quality.
I hope this article has helped you in writing better code the next time when your write. Thanks for reading the article.