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Essential but Easily Neglected Steps During Coding

Updated: Oct 29



As Walter O’Brien, the talented information technologist who is the inspiration of the TV show Scorpio, once said, coding is “more of an adrenaline rush of endorphins rather than a feeling.” For those of you who are passionate about coding or programming, you surely enjoy spending time in front of computers writing codes or building programs. However, it may get less enjoyable when you write codes for a living. Not only do you have to fully concentrate for coding tasks that are not as fun as game modifications, but also you need to maintain a high quality of work to fulfill your job responsibilities. Coding is complex and it takes extra time, practice, and training to reach the high level of proficiency that is needed to be a professional. Other than work proficiency, the ability to work collaboratively is also a skill that a coding professional should have to be successful. Coding tasks do not solely depend on an individual, they require teamwork and a collective effort. It becomes much more difficult to work with others when everyone has a coding style of his or her choosing. In order to avoid coding quality issues and maintain a high quality of work, Sedna gathers several manageable steps for you to follow so that you are able to improve work effectiveness and help secure your career in the current position.


CREATE TEAM GUIDELINES

In a team where everyone contributes to the same project, it is essential to inform all members to work in a consistent style and format to avoid unnecessary trouble. An example of this is that different people may be accustomed to different coding languages. Therefore, the very first step of forming a team is to set ground rules. Guidelines must be specific and clear. Programming language comprises a huge part of coding, which highlights the importance of every team member following a consistent pattern. Of the commonly accepted languages, (Java script, CSS, Python, Ruby, etc),the team leader should select preferably no more than three, that are easy to use and explicitly readable for all team contributors. Additionally, constant updates about work progress within the team are just as important. It is recommended to set up a daily automated report for team members to update progress on their assigned tasks. By doing so, they will be able to access coworkers’ schedules and avoid duplicating efforts. Besides that, by taking advantage of their reports, the team leader has the liberty to make proper arrangements based on their specialities for maximizing work efficacy.


CONDUCT THOROUGH TESTS

Considering the complexity of coding, it is imperative to write well-defined tests on every single layer. To reduce coding errors and verify the functionality of an application as a whole, combining unit tests and integration tests in the process of testing would be exceedingly effective. Unit testing is a testing method that verifies individual components of a software and ensures that they match their designs and perform as intended. Errors can be detected and located through the test at an early stage, allowing software developers to remove them before further development. When the unit test passes, an increasing number of reusable codes can be found for the use of building a new function or software, and the high reusability of code undeniably speeds up the process of software developing. Integration testing is the next essential step to take after the completion of unit testing. It is a level of software testing where individual units are integrated and tested as a group to expose defects in the combination of all modules. This method serves the same purposes as unit testing, but on different subjects. Integration tests provide higher code coverage, higher reliability and well-improved ability to track failures, which helps generate high quality codes in less time. Considering that the product will eventually be consumed by users, user testing is inevitable and the most important type of testing. User testing confirms the normal functionality of the code and the product and reveals user satisfaction, contributing critical values for further development.


EXAMINE YOUR WORK

Code review is a necessary procedure in the development to check if there is any abnormality in codes. It can help developers to accomplish a final check before launching and ensure the quality of the product if properly performed. In order to maximize the effectiveness of code review, several adequate steps are recommended for developers to follow. Since there are tons of codes, it would work better if codes are divided into different time slots and completed by several team members. Experts suggest reviewing no more than 400 lines of code at a time and to take a break every working hour. Otherwise, it could be counterproductive, which defeats the purpose of code review. In addition to maintaining code quality, software developers also need to complete reviewing efficiently. The key to achieve that is to set specific goals and keep track of performance. By doing so, reviewing numerous codes becomes manageable, and developers will know when and how to make changes to improve their performance for validating and fixing codes.


Setting standards, testing units, and reviewing codes seem like ordinary steps for coding, but, simultaneously, they are easily taken for granted because these are very common steps. Sometimes the most common things are the easiest to be overlooked. Despite their universality, these three actionable steps are indispensable to avoid coding issues and improve code quality.


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