Let’s look at tips and tricks on how to write clean code. Everyone wants to be able to write code that is clear, easy to maintain and read, and free of bugs. This post will give you some tips on how to do just that – write better code.
So, let’s dive in!
How to write clean code
1) Good line spacing – Some of the most common bugs in code are those caused by either bad line spacing or too little line spacing.
2) Single Responsibility (SRP) – The rule of thumb for identifying a class’s responsibility is that a class should have only one reason to change. For example, the class “User” should have everything necessary to manage a user, and should not need to know anything about the database (beyond what is needed for storage). Classes which keep getting split up into smaller and smaller chunks are usually indicative of too many responsibilities being assigned within a single object.
3) Object Oriented Design (OOD) – Object-oriented design allows for more modular programming. In order to achieve this, however, you need to have well-defined interfaces and use them. This allows for easier refactoring when needed.
4) Adopt a Philosophy of Code Cleanliness – Some of the worst code I’ve ever seen was code that was written without any regard for cleanliness or readability. In order for code to be readable, it must also be clean.
5) Adhere to Standards – Using standards can help adhere to some of the tips mentioned above. Using multiple coding standards, however, can actually hurt you more than it helps. A good standard to adopt is the PEP8 standard (a Python standard).
6) Watch out for Brackets – Brackets can be a big source of bugs if they aren’t used properly. I’ll admit that I even still get confused by them sometimes when writing Python code, as they often seem counter-intuitive.
7) Use Functions and Methods – This helps with SRP in no.2 and keep your code modular (and therefore, easier to maintain).
8) Avoid spaghetti code – This refers to code that is extremely complex and hard to understand. This generally means that you didn’t adhere to some of the tips mentioned above.
9) Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) – DRY is as true for coding as it is for any other form of communication. If you find yourself copying and pasting chunks of code, figure out if there is a way to factor them into another function or method, otherwise, you may find yourself with a lot of duplicate code in your application.
10) Document your code – Any good programmer should be documenting their code regardless, but this tip can help you write better documentation to help readers understand why your code works the way it does. The documentation simply means providing someone who doesn’t know your code with instructions on how it should work. Such documentation is useful for other programmers working on the project who don’t have the same level of knowledge as you – it helps them to understand what you’ve done and how to achieve the same result without getting stuck.
11) Always write tests for your code – Being a developer, I’m sure you have heard the saying “laziness is the mother of all inventions.” While code that is written quickly will often be buggy code, writing tests for your code can help you write code that correctly follows best practices. While a program may run without a test, it doesn’t mean that it’s correct, which is why it’s important to use testing as means for verifying your code works.
12) Test with real (not fake) user input – If you’re using any type of testing for your code, it only makes sense to test it with as much real data as possible. Even if you’re using a database as your database for testing, remember to test against real data, not fake data. Fake data is better than no database at all, but good tests should always be written against actual data.
13) Don’t reinvent the wheel – There are plenty of libraries out there that already do what you need to do; use them! Adopting the use of existing libraries can save time and resources while reducing bugs.
Overall, writing good code can be hard, but with these tips, you should be able to make your code better. The best way to keep yourself from writing bad code is to keep learning. Once you figure out the best way of doing something, move on and learn how to do something else. These tips are meant as a guideline and not a law set in stone.
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