As a software developer, staying ahead of the game is essential to success. Keeping up with the latest technologies and trends is essential, but it’s also important to understand the basics. Knowing the best practices for software development can make all the difference between building a successful application and having it crash and burn.
The 7 best practices every developer should know about are essential for any project. From knowing when to use specific programming languages and frameworks, to understand the importance of documentation and code reviews, these 7 best practices will help any developer build better software. With knowledge of these best practices, developers can be better prepared to create applications that are efficient, reliable, and secure.
Choosing the proper technologies
When starting to develop an application, one of the first things to decide is which technologies (programming language, frameworks, databases, and so on) you should use. Quite often, it feels safe to select technologies that you have always used, but that’s not always the optimal choice. The application itself normally imposes a number of limitations in relation to the technologies that you can use.
For example, if you have to create a mobile application, there are several technologies that you can use; but if you have to develop a similar application that you have made many times, it might be wiser to use technologies that you are already very familiar with.
Choosing the proper tools
As a developer, you should always choose the proper tools that best fit your software development process. This makes your process more efficient and also helps you in the development life cycle. There are many tools to automate tasks in the development process, and it is a good way of avoiding mistakes that occur in repetitive tasks. Of course, the tools you use will depend on the process and the technologies you’re using.
Minimizing the amount of coding
A common good practice is to minimize the amount of coding. This is really sensible because it makes code maintenance and testing much easier. DRY (short for Don’t Repeat Yourself) is a common principle in software development. The basic idea of DRY is to reduce the amount of code by avoiding repetition in it.
It is always a good practice to split your source code into smaller components because smaller units are always easier to manage. Of course, the optimal structure depends on the programming language you are using. One good statement is also Keep it Simple, Stupid (KISS), which should guide you in the right direction.
Coding conventions are a set of guidelines for a specific programming language that recommend programming styles, practices, and methods for each aspect of a program written in that language. It makes the code more readable and easier to maintain. Naming conventions define how variables, methods, and more should be named. Naming is really important because it helps developers understand the purpose of a certain unit in a program.
The layout convention defines how the structure of the source code should look — for example, indenting and the use of spaces. The commenting convention defines how the source code should be commented on. Quite often, it is good to use some standardized ways of commenting, such as Javadoc with Java.
Testing is one of the most essentials points every developer should remember while developing an application. Testing your code helps you to write efficient code and avoid delivering substandard code. It also helps to detect and protect against bugs in the future.
Everyone makes mistakes. An attitude that allows you to acknowledge imperfections is the first step to investing your trust in a code review. Having a colleague read over your pull requests before merging is a good way to ensure final code quality. Code review helps the team identify potential flaws that might elude detection during testing, saving time and money. An effective code review prevents bugs and errors from entering your project by improving code quality early in the software development process.
In software development, documentation is a key activity that must not be ignored. The more detailed and defined documentation of your project, the better your team will understand what they need exactly to achieve to make your product thrive.
The codes are needed to be reviewed, unit tests, and automation tests apart from writing, and designing. Documentation is given the least attention which is not right. Documentation is one of the best solutions that can help you in the future if you want to make any changes. It’s very important to take out the extra time to write a proper description that will help in saving a huge amount in the future.
Software development is an iterative process and it doesn’t happen overnight. You will have to choose the tools and technologies that are most appropriate for your project. You will also have to decide how you want to organize yourself and your team. The best way to make sure that your software development process is efficient and successful is to apply these best practices.