Importance of Code Quality and Coding Standards

Importance of Code Quality and Coding Standards

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Mr. Unity Buddy
·Jul 13, 2021·

6 min read

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Hello, buddies! If you are a programmer, then the concept of coding standards is nothing new to you. You may be a strong supporter of these guidelines or a freedom fighter who believe that code is a form of expression. Whatever the case may be, it doesn’t hurt to look at some of the best practices when it comes to writing a good piece of code😉.

Anyway, for newbies, what a Coding Standard is,

Coding standards are a set of informal rules that helps improve the quality of a product irrespective of the technology.

But, the problem is many programmers/developers even don't know what are the coding standards and why to follow them. So here are the reasons why you should follow them and which coding standards you must use😊

First, why you should follow them?

1. Enhanced Efficiency 🚀

image.png It is often seen that the software developers spend a larger part of their time in solving those issues that could have been prevented. Implementing the coding standards would help the team to detect the problems early or even prevent them completely. This will increase efficiency throughout the software process.

2. Reduced Failure Rate 📉

image.png The coding standards help introduce efficiency and excellence in the source code. It ultimately benefits developers as they can understand what a particular module of code will do. And this reduces the chances of project failure to a great extent. The use of the right architecture and appropriate linking of modules helps build an excellent solution that meets all client demands.

3. Security Concerns 🔓

image.png Software becomes vulnerable to attacks if it is inconsistent, contains bugs and errors in logic. Most of the aforementioned problems arise due to the faulty programming code that might have resulted from poor coding practices.

4. Easier Debugging 🐛

image.png Searching for bugs in the code that is difficult to read and untidy becomes time-consuming. Moreover, the debugging task may be handed over to some other developer than the one who has developed it. And this can become a problem if coding standards have not been used at all. Therefore, using coding standards in your source code is important to reduce the time taken for debugging the code and provide the best outputs to end-users.

These reasons are enough for using coding standards.


Now let's see what are some best coding practices(on the other hand, "Coding Standards") that give us a lot of benefits. Really lot!

1. Use of Indentation

It is advisable to make use of indentation while writing the code. There is no particular style defined, but any style can be chosen for writing code. However, a consistent indentation style should be followed throughout the code. For Instance,

<div style=”background-color: red”> <!div start–>

<h2> A heading</h2>

<p> A paragraph.</p>

</div> <!div end –>

Some programmers think that a complex code shows he/she is smart or expert or whatever. If you know someone, tell them that I said "You're mad" (That's a joke.. Don't do it! Try explaining)

2. Code Comments and Proper Documentation 📄

image.png It is a good practice to comment while writing code(not obvious code. See the next practice) It helps other developers to understand your code. With the use of the Integrated Development Environment and other tools, commenting can be utilized in many different ways. It is advisable to start every method or routine with the comment specifying what a routine, method or function does, about its various parameters, its return values, errors, and exceptions (if any). Also, the role of each file and class, their contents, and even the steps of complex codes should be summarized in the comments. For instance,

/* the below function will be used for the addition of two variables*/

int Add()

{

//logic of the function

}

3. Avoid Commenting on Obvious Things 👁

While following the standards, take care that you do not comment unnecessarily, as I always say. Too much explanation will make your code look clumsy. For Instance,

for ( int i=0; i<10; i++) //for loop starts here

{ //starting brace

   // logic starts here

} //ending brace

This may make your teammates like this,

image.png

4. Grouping Code

It is better to group the tasks in different blocks/functions of code separating them with proper space. You can add a comment at the starting of every block. For example,

/* this function will be used for the addition*/

function Add()
{

  // logic here

}

/*this function will be used for deletion

function Delete()
{

  // logic here

}

4. Proper and Consistent Scheme for Naming

The two popular naming conventions are

CamelCase: This can be used for naming where the first letter of each word is capitalized except for the first word.

UnderScore: Name your function using an underscore between the words.

/* CamelCase Example */  
/ *try using the names that are relevant */

function addRecords($userName) // this name depicts that the records can be added with the help of this function
{

  //logic here

}

/* UnderScore Example / 
/* try to use relevant names*/

function add_records ($user_name) //this name depicts that the records can be added with the help of this function
{

//logic here

}

It is up to the choice of the developer which naming scheme to be used but it is very important to maintain the consistency of the naming scheme throughout the code. CamelCase is used in Java while PHP uses underscore in the naming convention.

5. DRY

image.png While coding, the coders should remember the principle of DRY, which stands for Don’t Repeat Yourself, also known as DIE (duplication is evil). It is a good practice to write your own code and don’t copy. It is a known fact that most software programs aim at automating repetitive tasks. Therefore, the code of the application should be such that the same code is not repeated over and over again. Deep nesting structures should be avoided Too many nesting structures make it difficult to understand the code. It is, therefore, advisable to avoid using deep nesting.

if() {

    if() {

        if() {

            // logic here

        }

    }

}

6. Use short line length

Tall and narrow columns are easy to be read and seem comfortable to the eyes. It is therefore advised to use short line lengths, where the ideal length could be 80 characters, For instance,

echo ‘Hello world’; echo ‘Welcome’; echo ‘Anything’;

The aforementioned is not a standardized way of coding. Instead, the single line should be split into short lines as below:

echo ‘Hello world’;

echo ‘Welcome’;

echo ‘Anything’;

So buddies, here are only a few standards you can use. Show some love and Happy Coding!

 
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