Now-a-days, knowledge of syntax & semantics of a programming language is not enough at all. Every programmer needs a set of coding guidelines which he can follow to develop a better programming style. This not only helps him to increase his productivity as an individual programmer but also results in increased productivity of teams. So, following are some ways for beginners which can be used to develop a better programming style:-
Its common habit of a programming beginner to use comments for only commenting out the unnecessary code. Well, that’s one of the uses of comments. As the amount of code increases, it becomes necessary to use comments to explain your code. Even a programmer who is unfamiliar with a file/project should be able to understand the functionality of the code by getting help from comments. Use of proper comments increase readability of code.
Indentation is a necessary habit that every programmer should follow. If the code is properly indented, it will be easier to read & understand. The use of “tabs” should be preferred to “spaces” when it comes to indentation. There are a lot of IDEs & tools which automatically indents the code in a proper manner.
3. Naming Conventions
One should follow proper naming conventions while programming. Naming conventions means using meaningful names while naming variables, constants,functions, classes & files instead of using names which doesn’t make any sense. This is a must-do thing that every programmer should practice because it improves readability of the code. Here is Wikipedia page to have an insight about naming conventions!
4. Functional Approach
Whenever there is need to use similar code more than once, always use functions instead of writing the whole code again & making changes. Always try to sub-divide big problem into a set of small problems & solve it using functional approach. Beginners tend to forget about functions completely & write programs with many lines of codes. So, this can be avoided using functions & leads towards reusability & readability of program.
5. File Organization
A project always consist of more than one file. If the files aren’t organised, it becomes difficult to work on the project as the size increases. So, it is always recommended to be organised. Just like organising music & pictures using folders, projects also need to be organised. Always group similar kind of files into a folder & label it using a meaningful name so that it is easier to refer to the files when needed.
Proper use of whitespaces increase the readability of the code. There should at least one line space between every two code blocks. Also, whitespaces should be used wherever a programmer feels necessary. A lot of whitespaces decrease the readability. So, it must be used wisely.
7. Code Organization
Code organization must be followed within a file too. There is always a right place for every type of code block in a particular program. For example, all the necessary files should be imported/included at the beginning of the file only. Similarly, there are best practices of code organization for every programming language that must be followed.
8. Object Oriented Programming
Almost every programming language supports object-oriented approach. Programmers should move on to object-oriented programming practices as soon as they are finished with basic syntax & semantics of the programming language. Object oriented programming is one the most common best practice of the IT industry. The merits are improved readability, maintainability, scalability, testability & many other attributes of a good software or system.
9. Write As Less As Possible
Always try to solve a particular programming task by writing as less as possible. This will not only help in the increased performance of the code but will also result in the improved readability. For example, try to declare 3 variables in one instead of doing them in 3 separate lines. A programmer should try to keep lines of code as minimum as possible keeping in mind the functionality of code.
Wrap-Up: This was just an overview of some of the best practices that can used by beginners to write code in efficient & effective manner. Some of those will be explained in detail in upcoming posts as well there will be more useful content related to programming. Stay Tuned!!