Regardless of the kind of programming language or technology stack a developer uses if the following adjectives can be used to describe their code, then it is a sign that they are writing a great code. These are the secret code writing guide to any newbies attempting their hand at code writing or any developer looking to check to measure the effectiveness of their code.
Get ready to check your code writing skills! Following are the adjectives associated with good codes.
One of the things that set apart a great developer from a bad developer is that the former adds logging and tools that enable them to debug the program during instances of failure. All developers should write debuggable codes. All programs require some form of log inbuilt into them so that the programmer can monitor what it is doing. This is especially important in cases when things go wrong.
Most of the modern runtimes enable the user to add a debugger of some type. Eg. Node. js can be debugged with Visual Studio. Having said that, the best time to start using a debugger is when you don’t have a problem.
Debugging alone would not ensure that a developer’s code is the problem- free. The code can face several problems such as it may run somewhere else, maybe serverless, may run on a cloud somewhere, may be distributed or multithreaded. In such environment, the code may not function the same on the developer’s computer.
It is in such instances the need for a logging framework becomes clearer. The developer needs to write the code and set up the logging in a readable or digestible way. This needs to become a part of the developer’s software. If the developer does not do this, they end up doing production deployments to use logging code for debugging a production problem.
A good code requires unit tests to be written. If the developer has any codes that have no tests, the first step is to write tests as they modify the code. Even if it requires restructuring something to make it testable, it is better than having a code with no test. A software that is testable is broken down into intelligible functions that can easily do verifiable things. A testable software functions better and is also more resilient.
If something can’t happen, then it shouldn’t. In this context, it means that if the code doesn’t work it should immediately exit with an error message. This would result in the problem being fixed immediately and will not cause any further errors downstream. An example of a unreliable code is if (myvar == null) myvar =””;. This kind of code will lead the developer to an intermittent behavior. Intermittent behavior will create suspense till everything backfires in a time of need.
The code should display Idempotent behavior. This means that if the developer alters a line in the debugger to see if it fixes the problem and returns to the beginning of that routine, the process will work out properly. Thus, an Idempotent code will result in a predictable software that does not create data messes.
Immutability has been achieved by functional codes. When the developer has a variable, it gets assigned once and then alters the result in a new data structure. It is also possible to achieve immutability even if the developer is not writing functional code.
A code which is immutable is resilient and keep away from all types of thread masses. There are some low-level reasons that can render immutable codes undesirables for special cases. But those reasons do not apply in the normal business code that most developers indulge in.
Readability of the code is very important. Some developers chose to forget it when functional programming came into vogue. The primary focus of the compiler is to make codes that can be read by the compiler. Similarly, a developer should make codes that can be read by any person.
Every developer while writing a class, function or module should consider the fact that things can change. There is always the possibility that the code might require an additional piece of data like context or security information. Some codes aren’t really modifiable except by the person who wrote it which poses a problem to the next developer down the line.
A great code by large self-documents itself. This is about the naming of the variable, class & function and design of the code. It is also about JavaDoc. The developer should rethink their design if they can’t document their code and what it does without having to refer to hundreds of other things.
A code is considered good if it can be logically broken down into parts that can be run and modified independently, probably with some sort of harness that delivers the required prerequisite data.
In cases where other developers cannot grab the developer’s code from Git and run the build, then the particular build needs reworking. The developers build also needs work if it requires a weeklong, multihour and multiday process. It is quite taxing when the build needs to be fought by every new team member when the developer gets a new computer or during an important release.