Learning coding best practices online
rogramming works on the same fundamentals as mathematics does. There are multiple ways to solve a problem and to code, but crisp, clear, universally acknowledged, and right formulas always lead to the right output. There are certain practices in coding that have been widely accepted and are being used as the right approach.Updated: Aug 16, 2019 11:13 IST
Coding is the soul of programming. And, to ensure that every code is self-explanatory, optimised, and readable, programmers must be well acquainted with good coding practices. While programming is meant for machines, good coding is meant to be human- readable.
Programming works on the same fundamentals as mathematics does. There are multiple ways to solve a problem and to code, but crisp, clear, universally acknowledged, and right formulas always lead to the right output. There are certain practices in coding that have been widely accepted and are being used as the right approach. These practices give a common ground to all the programmers for writing codes. Good coding practices are not forced, but suggested methods to write easily understandable codes.
Few good coding practices that the community of developers should follow include —
1. Following naming conventions - naming conventions are certain rules that are applied while writing codes for programming. They serve multiple purposes such as enhancing clarity and uniformity of the codes and increasing readability for other developers. Features like capitalisation, punctuation, adding identifiers, and symbols come under naming conventions. For example, there are two broad styles of writing code: camel case and snake case. In camel case, a variable name will be written as “variableName” whereas in snake case, the same variable will be written as “variable_name”. Following the same conventions makes the code easier to understand and sets a standard for all the coders working on a project.
2. Keeping the code simple - to ensure that your code is human-readable, it is essential to keep it as simple as possible. There are times when coders end up deploying complicated logic to complete simple tasks. This, not only creates confusion but also makes it really difficult for other developers to understand the code and extract the meaning from the same. Good code is always focussed on a single purpose and nothing else. To integrate this practice, you should start practising and reconsidering your codes time and again. Getting your codes reviewed from someone would give you a different perspective and you could start using much simpler logic behind the same.
3. Following DRY principle - DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) principle aims at reducing information repetition. It also suggests that your codes must be reusable. A reusable code must be safe, clear, reliable, and secure. The principle states that, “Every piece of knowledge must have a single, unambiguous, and authoritative representation within a system”. Avoiding lengthy methods, dividing the logic and code into smaller units, and reusing these existing pieces in a different manner helps in following the DRY principle. For example, let’s suppose we had to write 3 functions that have a different set of input and output parameters but uses the same logic or algorithm. Then, instead of rewriting the same algorithm in all three functions, we can move that piece of code to a separate function and include it in all required places.
Coding is more about thinking than writing. People often start deploying their initial ideas without thinking over it. To write easily understandable codes while following good coding practices, it is extremely essential to use logic and break down everything into the simplest form possible.
How to integrate all of these coding practices? E-learning is the solution!
A few programmers undergo years of formal education and still end up writing long, complex, and non-reusable codes. On the other hand, professionals who focus solely on skill development through affordable and accessible online trainings, know how to write simple, short, and reusable code. Good programmers are made of 70% practical knowledge and 30% theoretical understanding. Thus, the best way to gain practical skills and integrate good coding practices in coders is to start learning through online trainings. Where traditional institutes focus much more on the latter, e-learning platforms ensure that you get the opportunity to practice anytime, anywhere, and at your own pace. Apart from being affordable and accessible, online learning is the best solution for integrating good coding practices as -
1. It lets you choose from various programming trainings and find out what is best for you - from C, C++, and Java to Kotlin, Elm, Rust, and so on, programming languages have come a long way. Today, there are multiple programming languages which can assist you at different scales to grow as a developer. Based on your interest, you can enrol into multiple courses on e-learning platforms. While traditional coaching institutes might require you to spend 6 months or a few years to complete such trainings dedicatedly, online platforms help you to complete the training at your own pace and within a few weeks. Trainings such as web development, ethical hacking, data science, programming with python, Core Java, Android app development, programming with C and C++, and Angular are a few trainings that could help you in strengthening your programming concepts and skills while focussing on various good coding practices.
2. It assists you in upskilling at your own pace - online trainings let you save your resources, learn new skills, and upskill at your own convenience. Whether you are pursuing graduation, doing a job, or looking for a career change, e-learning is your go-to solution. You don’t have to bear all the traditional training costs such as relocating, travelling every day, and paying for the equipment, software, etc. You get to learn through videos, visual organizers, and practice exercises that help you to learn at your own pace without following a strict study schedule. Online training lectures are designed keeping all the coding practices in mind. Thus, the instructors try to make sure that you understand all the essential coding practices right at the time of learning. Assessments after every module ensure that you can deploy your learning, learn the required skills through more and more practice, and complete the training to fit into different work industries.
3. It gives you multiple opportunities to test what you have learnt - programming is something that could never go right at the very first attempt. To integrate good coding practices, you need to be curious, attentive, and logical. Online trainings allow you to learn to code, practice it on your own, find out the bugs and issues, and then put in all your efforts to rectify them. This would happen initially, however, after intense practice and understanding, you would be able to write more
optimal codes at one go. Online trainings come up with hands-on exercises and an industrial project that allows you to implement your learning. The assessments would help you to learn various things such as the use of headers, comments, self- documenting code, style conventions, and a lot more. Solving various quizzes and code challenges could definitely help in your professional growth.
Codes are meant to be read and not just run! Aesthetic website or app can surely attract people but irrelevant information, lack of proper action buttons, and errors would push you back. For every coder, it is essential to keep the coding practices, standards, and principles in mind so that she can use her learning wisely. The more you practice, the less time you would take to write good codes.
First Published: Aug 16, 2019 11:13 IST