Negosentro.com | Keeping Your Complex Programs Clean and Organized | Programming is a wonderful field. It’s both a rewarding activity and a potentially lucrative career. However, programs have become more complex over time, and ensuring your codebase remains easy to understand and maintain is critical. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your program under control whether you work in coding for legal automation, program security, the medical industry, etc,.
Take Time While Planning
Some experts recommend creating a general overview when planning your program. Others prefer to break down the program into fine details. Make sure to set aside ample time for planning. Potential problems are often easier to detect during the planning phase, and spending time writing code that will need to be rewritten can lead to wasted time and effort.
Plan for Flexibility
It’s sometimes said that the best way to write a program is to write it once and rewrite it again to fix the structural mistakes made along the way. However, contemporary knowledge states that it’s better to refactor code than to rewrite it. Regardless of which path you choose, ensure your planning documents and code comments are easy to modify. Planning can give you a great foundation to work with, but make changes as seamless to implement as possible.
Version Control is Important
When writing a complex program, you’ll inevitably come to a time when you aren’t quite sure why you wrote a particular piece of code the way you did. In group projects, you’ll also come across code written by others, and your own code will need to be understandable for the entire team. While code comments are critical, version control software also lets you explain why changes were made. If you need to revert changes in the future, version control is essential. Ensure your entire team is diligent about leaving comments as it’s not always obvious why specific changes are made. There are plenty of excellent version control solutions, but you’ll want to make sure everyone is comfortable using the solution you choose.
Dry-Erase Boards and Paper
There are plenty of wonderful programs for collaborating and organizing complex computer programs. However, the best solution is often an analog one. Dry-erase boards give you and anyone else working on the program a visual representation of your project, and they make it easy to implement changes. Paper solutions work as well. Printed documentation for especially complex programs can serve as an invaluable reference. For object-oriented programming, having one index card per class can help you see an overview of how complex interactions are handled within the program.
Breaking Down Programs
One of the most important parts of the planning phase is ensuring the program is properly abstracted. Individual sections of your codebase should be as discreet as possible, and the connections between various segments should be rigorously tested. Over time, it’s easy to tie individual segments of your program together more tightly, making it difficult to maintain each part of the codebase on its own. Again, refactoring can be useful, so take a step back on occasion to ensure individual components are segregated from each other as much as possible.
Consider Regular Code Reviews
Even the most talented programmers regularly make mistakes along the way, and some types of bugs don’t raise obvious errors at first but can lead to major problems in the future. Code reviews protect against a wide range of errors. and they give other team members a chance to look at different parts of the codebase. This is especially important considering the demands of modern programming. As the average web developer salary continues to rise, web developers are constantly being asked to learn a seemingly ever-growing list of languages and frameworks. Code reviews help everyone stay on the same page.
Tackling a complex program can be exciting, and it’s fun to see a useful program rise up from so much code. However, it’s easy for programs to grow cumbersome and difficult to maintain over time. Discipline, communication and regular reviews are essential for keeping you code clean and organized.