Writing code well is a continuous process, even for the most experienced developer. The overall ease and flow of the development process can be greatly affected by how well the code is written. This article will discuss the steps you can take to become better at writing code.
As a senior developer, you may have written thousands of lines of code and have experience with different coding languages. However, there is always room to improve your vast coding experience. If you are looking to improve and expand upon what you already know, here are four ways you can boost your coding skills.
1. Keep Code Simple
Coding in any programming language can be complicated as many developers take different approaches. However, well-written code should be approached with simplicity in mind. Overcomplicated code can cause issues, requiring the developer to backtrack. Corrections can be time-consuming and cause delays in the project deliverable. To avoid this, aim for simple code.
Avoid Long Lines of Code
One way to keep your code simple is by writing shorter lines of code. It's a standard that lines of code should be 80 characters per line; however, this may not be true for all programming languages.
Character limits are put in place to help make reading code easier as only so many characters can fit on a screen. If the code is too long, it can make line breaks more difficult. Therefore, the functionality of that particular line of code becomes difficult to understand. As a precaution, keep your character limits in mind as you code.
Break it Down
A shorter written code is easier to edit later in the development process. To help achieve this, try breaking down your task into smaller parts. Looking at your code in this way gives you a better view of the overall code and prompts you to catch minor mistakes you may have overlooked.
2. Keep Code Clean
Clean code is a subject many developers are implementing throughout their teams and projects. That's why keeping your code neat and clean is key.
With hundreds of lines of code written within a project, it's possible some were repeated or duplicated throughout.
Duplicating code is not a good practice as it can create errors and make the code more difficult to tackle. You want to avoid copying code as it causes bugs that are hard to modify. Not only are they difficult to change but fixing bugs is a time-consuming process. In order to minimize these types of errors, keep to writing code once and steer clear of copy and pasting.
Redundancies can also show up as unnecessary or unhelpful comments that accompany your lines of code. Comments can be helpful for you and those who review your code; however, if they are overused or not used efficiently, they can be a hindrance. Therefore, when writing comments, make sure they are helpful for yourself and others.
The readability of code should lay at the center of code writing, as it makes a vast difference in software development. It can allow the reader to move from one line to the next without breaking the reader's rhythm.
Readability isn't just for those writing and editing the code but also for the software's functionality. Code that isn't legible can cause bugs that will have to be addressed and resolved, causing further delays.
3. Keep it Consistent
Consistency is key in everything we do; whether that's starting a new healthy lifestyle or implementing a new routine, the same should go for coding.
If you have a particular style of code writing or a specific way of organizing your information, you must maintain it all the way through.
Changing how you write code from one line to the next causes confusion and makes it more difficult for other developers to understand. Not to mention that when you go back later, you may not understand your thought process or reasoning for writing that particular line.
4. Review Code
Everyone has to take a step back and look at their work at some point; even the most pro of software developers must reassess their code to check for errors and improvements. Reviewing your work can be done in various ways for the most benefit.
The More Eyes the Better
It's always beneficial to have someone else look at your work. Get as many eyes to review the code to maximize catching duplications and lines that may not be intuitive to include. Having other developers check the code can also tell you if your code is readable and understandable to others who may look upon it later.
Being open to constructive criticisms from fellow developers is a great way to improve your current coding skills. For example, you may find that another developer does something more efficiently than you or that they can help you resolve a problem more quickly.
Collaboration with your colleagues can add a greater benefit to your overall growth and success as a software developer.
Are You Ready To Level Up?
Having a great deal of experience coding can be beneficial to your career growth and success as a software developer. For many, that means continuously improving on what they already know. Becoming a student of your craft, rather than refining your coding skill or working on other skill sets, can only elevate your software development career. At Nexton, we seek senior talent that is both curious and willing to dig deeper and improve their skill set to reach more challenging job opportunities. Contact us, to know more.