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Julien Delange Friday, February 4, 2022

Why Code Snippets Are Essential For Productivity

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Julien Delange, Founder and CEO

Julien is the CEO of Codiga. Before starting Codiga, Julien was a software engineer at Twitter and Amazon Web Services.

Julien has a PhD in computer science from Universite Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France.

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“Good programmers know what to write. Great ones know what to rewrite and reuse”

— Eric S. Raymond

TLDR; Codiga’s Coding Assistant is the resource you need to find the right snippets of code instantly

Engineers, it’s time to work smarter, not harder. If you’ve been spending precious time writing code from the ground up, or countless hours online looking for the appropriate code snippets for your project, then this article is for you.

Every experienced engineer knows that the right building blocks of code can make a project go a lot faster. The fact of the matter is; why do work that has already been done? As much as us coders love what we do, no one wants to spend their time writing line after line of repetitive code when they can just find a snippet that has already been trusted and used by their peers. It’s boring, monotonous and frankly a waste of time.

But the question is, where can you find such snippets, and can you trust that they are free from defects? It’s a valid concern, but not one that should deter you from using snippets. In late 2021 Codiga, a tech startup created to aid coders with all aspects of software development, launched a new feature that is tailored to save engineers time sourcing resulable blocks of code; Coding Assistant.

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of Code Snippets, and go into detail about how Codiga’s Code Analysis feature can make finding and reusing code a whole lot easier.

What exactly is a Code Snippet?

A snippet of code is essentially a reusable block of code that can be used as the foundation for any project. It can be source code, machine code or text, and mitigates the need for a developer to spend time writing lines of code from scratch.

Why are they useful?

Code snippets are an invaluable tool for engineers. In group projects, snippets can improve the consistency of work, which can oftentimes be subject to individual coders preferences. It can improve software quality, because the snippets have been used and vetted by others. Tech team leaders should be snippets biggest advocates, because it saves their team crucial time which leads to increased productivity across the board.

Individual programmers can find great value in snippets, since they won’t have to spend their time scouring the internet for the appropriate code. Overall, these building blocks of code are highly effective at reducing code maintenance costs and minimizing security and deployment risks.

Additionally, code snippets mean you don’t have to remember a lot of different function formats, which oftentimes are complex and contain tricky syntax. Code snippets allow you to keep all of your code consistent by eliminating the guesswork.

Can I trust other's Code Snippets?

So here’s where things get a little tricky. In an ideal world, yes, all snippets of code you find should be up-to-date and free of any defects, but that’s not always the case. When sourcing code snippets online, you might find outdated patterns that are longer relevant, so it can be hard to gain access to the snippets you need to be successful in your task.

That’s where Codiga’s Coding Assistant comes in. This time-saving tool allows you to populate code that has been vetted and trusted by other developers in a matter of seconds directly in your IDE, as well as share your own coding patterns with other users on Codiga in real time.

How Can I get started with Coding Assistant?

Coding Assistant is available for all registered Codiga uses and getting started takes only a couple of minutes. Codiga has multiple plan options available, including a basic free plan, as well as silver and gold options that give you a higher quota of tools to use.

Codiga is focused on ensuring their features integrate with their users' existing workflow as smoothly as possible, so they designed this tool to work anywhere you write code. This means can be easily added to your environment using Codiga’s VS Code, IntelliJ, and Chrome plugins. One plugin supports all languages; Apex, C, C++, Dart, Docker, Go, Java, Javascript, Kotlin, PHP, Python, Ruby, Scala, Shell Script, Terraform, Typescript, and YAML.

How Do I Go About Finding The Right Code Snippet?

The beauty of Coding Assistant is that it’s a place for users to give and take from one another. Codiga encourages users to add as many of their own snippets to the platform, as well as utilize our library of code snippets that have been added by other trusted users of our platform.

Within Coding Assistant, reusable blocks of code are known as Recipes. You can search for and subscribe to Recipes on the Coding Assistant Marketplace. Here, you can search by Recipe name or language, or use the advanced settings to search for keywords and tags associated with the code snippet you are looking for.

Once you have subscribed to a Recipe on Marketplace, you can then import the code into your IDE instantly by typing in a few key words. Our algorithm will determine the right code based on a number of criteria; keywords, popularity, rating and language. Our users are also welcome to flag any Recipes that they have found a defect with. All Recipes have been vetted by our community, and you can see how many times a Recipe has been used and ranked by others. But, if you do see an issue, flag it to our team along with a reason for why you feel it is unusable, and we will remove it.

Can I Share My Code Snippets With Others?

Yes, this is highly encouraged! Codiga is building a vast library of code snippets for their users (also known at the marketplace), and adding Recipes is just as important as using them.

If you prefer to stay working in your IDE and don't want to navigate around multiple environments, Coding Assistant allows you to create a Recipe right where you are working. Once you create a Recipe you want to share: highlight it, right click, select create Codiga Recipe and you’ll be asked for a name, language, description, and lastly, the keywords that will trigger a Recipe to populate. Once saved, your Recipe will be available instantly to any developer within the Codiga network.

You can choose to make Recipes either public or private.(bear in mind that once you have determined the visibility, it cannot be altered after a Recipe has already been shared).

Recipes can also be added to what are called Cookbooks. Cookbooks are, as you probably guessed, a collection of Recipes that can keep everything organized in one place. Like Recipes, Cookbooks can also be shared publicly or privately, and you can subscribe to and utilize public Cookbooks on the Coding Assistant Marketplace.

Anything else to note?

Yes! Codiga wants to reward their users for sharing their Recipes with others, so they recently rolled out a rewards program where users can earn points based on how many Recipes they add to our network. Each user profile now has a badge rating, and the more Recipes and Cookbooks you add, the more your badge ranking improves. Points can be redeemed for Codiga swag like T-shirts and mugs.The more Recipes and Cookbooks on the Codiga platform, the more useful it becomes for all.

To Summarize

If you want to make the most of your time and save yourself some headaches at the same time, then using code snippets as often as you can is the answer. It’s just the most efficient way to tackle a project, and can save you a lot of time in the long run.

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