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Best Practices for a Software Developer to Follow During Development

Before beginning a new project, you should have answers to the following questions:

  • How will a fantastic product come into the picture?
  • What method will be used to carry out the development?
  • What is the best code method to use so that I don’t have to change my code or anything else later?
  • What is the best place for me to keep my project?
  • What methods should be used for software testing?

Software Developer

Then there are so many things that we need to keep in mind during the development and testing of the project:

Code simplicity: Your code should be simple and easy to understand and read. This is to reduce the unnecessary complexity in software development.

Two points to remember:

  1. YAGNI: “You Ain’t Gonna Need It.” Write only useful code, i.e., don’t write code because we think that it will be needed in the future. That code will become dead code after some time or it may need rewriting because the future use case or requirements can be different from how you imagined it at the time of writing. So don’t overthink it, just do it.
  2. Dry: “Don’t repeat yourself.” If you think that it’s the third time you are writing the same piece of code, then you should create a common helper for the same and break the code into small pieces to make them reusable.
    Keep it consistent across your team. It’s necessary to maintain a uniform style guide for your codebase (complete source code) while working with a team. There is no consistency across writers if you can know who wrote a given file in a codebase.
    Design Pattern: Always choose a specific design pattern for the project, i.e., how the whole flow of code will work. It helps to reduce the code complexity and increase code readability. Your code should be loosely coupled, or I can say, should not be tightly coupled. Dependency between the classes should be less i.e. there should be minimal dependency or I can say that there should be separate/independent code for separate things. Try to use SOLID principles if you are working with any programming languages like C#, Java, PHP, Python, etc.

    S: Single responsibility principle
    O: Open/Closed Principle
    L: Liskov Substitution Principle
    I: Interface Segregation Principle
    D: Dependency Inversion Principle

    If any new requirements come into the picture, then your code should be easily modifiable.
    Code Review:- To ensure that you have written fine code, it’s better to have a colleague who can review your code before merging it into the main code. It’s a good approach to ensure the quality of the final code. We should also add comments to the code we wrote so that the code reviewer can easily understand why we wrote the code.

    Logging: We should add logging to track the flow of code and to encounter the success or failure of the functionality. We can add logs to each function and to the exceptions so that we can track where our data is flowing. If there is an error in the running application, we can easily find the particular point from where the error is generated or the function from which the error is coming.
    Logging helps to easily track local or production issues as there are many log levels like Info, Trace, Debug, Error, etc. Info is to highlight the main points/logs to the user, i.e., data is saved/updated/deleted successfully or a file is uploaded successfully. Trace and debug are to be used inside the function to describe their functionality so that the developer can easily get an idea of where data is flowing, and Error is used to highlight the errors that come up while performing any task.

    Test-Driven Development:- Personally, I can say that we should do test-driven development, i.e., it will be easy to write the code with the minimum number of bugs if we have a list of test cases before we start development. The development will seem like a game if we have test cases defined. The main goal of this strategy is to only change or write new code if the tests fail. This eliminates the need for duplicate test scripts. To check the functionality of certain features, we’ll need to write detailed unit tests.
    When a test fails, the developer needs to make the smallest changes necessary to fix the code. Check for redundancy or any possible code improvements once the test has been completed successfully to enhance the overall performance.

    Testing: The motive of testing should be to find the bug and create a problem for the developer/us. We should do proper testing by passing cutting-edge values for each functionality. Suppose we have a text field that accepts the numbers 1–100, so we should do testing by passing 0, 99, 100, 101, etc.
    While doing GUI Testing, there can be many scenarios like if the page is responsive or not, alignment of text or images, content, grammatical mistakes, functionality according to the requirements, etc.
    So there can be many more scenarios or test cases for different applications depending on the requirements. Before delivering the code, we can perform one round of peer testing as well. Peer testing is the testing done by colleagues to ensure the functionality works. The final motive is to deliver an error/bug-free functionality/product.

    Backup: There should be a backup created of the project locally or on the cloud so that we can easily access it at any time and any place. Suppose we have lost our changes due to any network or machine issue, then we don’t have to worry about it because we are smart and we have a backup created of our project. Restore that and surprise everyone.

    Documentation: This is the final step after the project is completed. Firstly, we should ensure that we have covered all the requirements defined in the design document for the project. Then we should create complete documentation about the project for user understanding and any other developers’ understanding. Whatever our project is doing, we should provide a complete document with screenshots and the theory of what functionalities are provided in this project, what are the benefits of using this project, why we should use this, and how the particular task will perform, i.e., how it will work. What are the upcoming things or more updates to come later?
    So this documentation will help clients/users easily understand the project and other developers also.

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