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Willing to write high-quality code? Don't miss these tips

Introduction

The whole discussion around what constitutes good code or bad code is subjective in nature. Because every developer will have their own opinion as to which parameters make any code high in quality or low in quality.

In this article, we will try to bring some insight on those attributes which when implemented in balance can increase the overall quality of any code. We at Iotasol, use these tricks and tips in-house to make sure that the code we produce stays relevant and contributes to the smooth functioning of any software we create.

1. What is Code Quality?

What-is-Code-Quality

In the simplest terms, the foremost measure to define code quality would be that code should be able to fulfill customer requirements. Any code can't be called high quality if it does not serve the purpose for which it was written in the first place.

Apart from that, another important factor is to ensure that the code should be capable of being changed. In today’s age, customer requirements change quickly and the code has to adapt to these changes to meet the new requirements.

2. Metrics to measure code quality

Metrices-to-measure-code-quality

There is no one standard way to measure the quality of the code. It is a subjective topic and different development teams can have different measures to define the quality of code.

Here are some parameters that play a key role in defining the quality of code.

a. Extensibility

Extensibility refers to the ability to incorporate chances of future growth in software. A code is called good when new features can be added or existing functionality can be changed or modified without affecting the whole system.

b. Maintainability

It is a qualitative measure that is defined by the ease with which changes can be made to a software program.

If making changes is taking way more time than it ideally should, that means, the code is not maintainable easily. Also, the larger chunks of code are difficult to maintain compared to smaller ones.

c. Reusability

Reusability is an attribute that shows if code can be used again. A number of interdependencies are used to measure reusability. Programmers can run a static analyzer to know about these interdependencies.

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d. Portability

Portability refers to platform independency and checks software for usability in various environments. To ensure that the code is portable, it should be tested on different platforms regularly throughout the development process without waiting till the end of development work.

3.Tips to write high-quality code

Tips-to-Write-high-qualityCod

a. Code commenting

Code commenting refers to writing short explanations or annotations directly into the source code of a computer program. While the computer does not use comments written for the execution of a program, comments are still very important.

The purpose of writing comments is to notify, remind, or warn, your future self or any other person working with that code, about the important things that code is doing.

Remember, a computer program remains incomplete and there is always the scope of doing something to improve the software product. In this scenario, writing code that can be understood by human beings adds to the overall quality of code and keeps the chance of making changes or adding new functionalities open.

A developer must know the art of placing comments to make their code readable for others. The different types of comments are

b. Modularization

Modularization or modular programming refers to dividing the code into small segments or units called modules.

Basically, in large projects, millions of lines of code have to be written by many programmers. In this situation, losing track of what a particular piece of code does or producing code that needs to be rewritten somewhere else with similar functionality becomes very difficult.

The process of modularization solves this problem by devising a planned methodology. As per this, code is broken down into pieces and organized according to the task it performs. The method ensures the reusability of code, easy debugging, and effective management as well.

This method plays a major role in improving the quality of code as each programmer does not need to worry about the entire code and is given the responsibility of creating particular segments flawlessly.

c. Maintain code on the git repository

Git is a version control system that allows you to save all the changes you made to a file or set of files. It allows you or any other developer to revisit the older versions of any file. Git, being one of the finest version control systems out there, a lot of developers depend on it for maintaining commercial and non-commercial projects.

d. Unit testing

Unit testing refers to the testing of individual units of source code to check if they are fit for functionality. To elaborate, a unit is basically the smallest testable component of the software that performs a single function.

While the bigger chunks of code are difficult to test, test results can be easily designed, executed, recorded, and analyzed for a unit of source code. Unit testing ensures that every single unit of the code is working fine.

Unit testing is highly valuable because a large number of defects can be identified during this testing. It improves the overall quality of code because it brings to notice every defect that might have aroused before the integration testing is carried out.

As unit testing is carried out by developers, It allows for detecting the code defects early. As a result, issues are resolved early without impacting the entire code.

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e. Use design patterns

A design pattern refers to reusable solutions that help in solving the common problems developers come across while developing a system or program. Design patterns act as guides or paradigms and are not actual code. They help software engineering in creating software solutions using best practices.

Proper use of design patterns can increase the overall efficiency of the code. Basically, all programmers face many problems of the same nature during code. Design patterns facilitate you to use the experience of people who have already been through that difficulty by using a proven arrangement of objects. Reusability and extensibility are the central motivation behind using design patterns.

f. Scanning security vulnerabilities

It is the key responsibility of any development team to check the potential security threats in any application they create. The three important steps involved in this process are assessing the vulnerabilities, removing them, and reporting the same.

A vulnerability scanner can be used to identify threats as it can scan the database and spot if any security loopholes are placed within the code.

Conclusion

The quality of the code ends up defining the overall quality of the software. In this digital age, it is imperative for developers to ensure good quality of code for the application to function well, be secure, and be safety-critical.

In this article, we have discussed different parameters that establish code quality and tips and tricks that when followed could help developers ensure better coding.

Let's quickly recapitulate the takeaway.

We hope that this article gave you some relevant insight and tips on code quality. Do let us know in the comments if there are any other metrics that are fundamental to ensuring high-quality coding.

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