Today software developers are in great demand mainly in the IT industry. It is difficult to find skilled programmers who write optimized and bug free code. Many are good at programming but very few are excellent at it. So how can the good programmers become excellent? Here are a few tips that everyone can follow in order to excel and generate optimized error free code.
Programming is something that cannot be learnt in a day. You need to keep learning and practicing it. Great programmers excel because they follow certain best practices and habits to set their mark. Not only the novice programmers but even the programmers with experience can adopt these habits and put them into action. So let’s quickly have a look at the top 7 best habits that great programmers adopt in order to come up with the best code.
Here are the top 7 Habits:
1. Master the Programming Basics, the Language and the System: It is important to know the programming language but along with it you need to understand the related association at the system level. Most of the languages will hide the intricate details of the system level from the programmers because it helps the programmers be more efficient and productive most of the time. Having the knowledge of the system level may not be helpful to at all times but when you have a bug that is tough to remove you need to get deeper and that is when this system level knowledge comes in handy. Instead of spending days and nights on the nasty bug you know what is to be done.
2. Let command lines be at your fingertips: Most of the developers begin coding in a very nice coding environment such as the IDE (An IDE usually consists of build automation tools, source code editor, and a debugger). It is easy to use the environment where you can drag and drop items and write code for each of the items. However, having the knowledge of using command line is not going to harm. Command lines are quicker and can make your life easy in difficult times. It is always better when you have that extra edge over others and that could pull you out of tough situations. There may be instances where you realize that huge code written in IDE, spending days and nights could probably be done better using a single command line which generates results within a few seconds.
3. Change with Technology: Technology is volatile and every programmer should be aware of this fact. If you need to be ahead in the race you ought to be ready to learn new technology and practice it. The good part is when your basics or programming fundamentals are strong you can easily learn any new language syntax and progress swiftly. Another fact is that all programmers do not work on the same project they may be switched to different projects with different technology so having the flexibility to learn new technology works to your advantage.
4. Team opinion is important: The common practice of programmers is that they are generally found working in silos. This may work out fine with smaller projects. However with bigger projects it becomes important that all the programmers work together as a team and understand the functioning of the entire system that they will be developing. So it is critical to build a team rapport and work as a unit. If a programmer is stuck with one issue he/she can ask for help and go ahead without any waste of time.
5. Understand benefits of Debuggers: Being a programmer it is your responsibility to make sure that your code works correctly. So it is not just coding that you need to focus on, but it involves debugging the code as well. At times you may also have to debug somebody else’s code may be a third party. To learn how to debug using the debugger will take a couple of days but once you use it you will understand and value the benefits. The debugger helps you to go through the code line by line and helps you figure out what must have gone wrong. It is as simple as setting breakpoints, patiently step through the code and figure out what is causing errors or not giving the expected result. The debugger can save a lot of your valuable time and get rid of your frustration. You may also end up learning more about coding by reading code that somebody else has written.
6. Unit testing is a good practice: Unit testing is a testing process in which the smallest unit of code is tested and checked one at a time and independently to determine its correct and expected operation. Unit testing can be either done manually or it can be automated. Developers feel the need to do unit testing because it is critical for the functioning of the entire application as one single program. The key is writing good test tests and performing the Unit test at an early stage of the coding process. The earlier you test it becomes better to detect flaws and errors earlier.
7. Make your code flexible and error free:7. Developers should code in such a way that it becomes easy to solve any issues and there is very little maintenance required. Make the code flexible, testable and extensible but not rigid. Extension methods permit the developer to add his/her own custom method to an existing type. By testing the code early during the process of coding helps to generate error free pieces of code.
Hope all you programmers, novice or experienced will follow the above tips to become the best programmers. When you are the best at programming, you will be asked to mentor other upcoming developers. Hope the information in this blog will help and guide all developers get better, perform better and have a successful long lasting programming career.