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Austin Chia Tuesday, August 16, 2022

How to Improve Your Code Quality: 5 Simple Tips!



Austin Chia, Founder of Anyinstructor

Austin Chia is the Founder of Any Instructor, where he writes about tech, analytics & software. After breaking into data science without a degree, he seeks to help others learn about all things coding and tech. He has previously worked as a data scientist at a healthcare research institute and a data analyst at a health-tech startup.

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Are you looking to improve your coding skills as a developer and start writing high-quality code?

To achieve high-quality code, you need to have a strong understanding of how to write code that is both efficient and maintainable.

In this blog post, we will discuss 5 simple tips that will help improve your code quality. These tips are should be applicable to both junior developers and senior developers!

Why Is Code Quality Important?

Code quality is important for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, high-quality code is more likely to be bug-free. This means that your code will be more reliable, and it will save you time and money in the long run.

According to a study on code quality, low code quality negatively impacted business goals of time to market and product quality.

Code Health and Average Maximum Time-In Development

Source: ICER 2017 Conference Study

Lower quality code (Alert) was found to increase the average maximum time compared to high quality (Healthy) code.

In addition, code that is easy to read and understand is easier to maintain. This is because you will be able to quickly identify where problems are and how to fix them, helping you to code faster.

Finally, high-quality code is more likely to be reused by other developers, which can save your team a lot of time and effort in the future.

Whether you're working in a team or doing freelance coding on the side, writing high-quality code is essential to becoming an overall better programmer.

Now that we've discussed why code quality is important, let's move on to our first tip!

5 Simple Tips to Improve Your Code Quality

  1. Follow Coding Conventions
  2. Use Automated Code Review Tools
  3. Write Clear & Concise Comments
  4. Use Smart Code Snippets
  5. Use Highly-Supported Libraries

Tip #1: Follow Coding Conventions

One simple way to improve your code quality is to follow coding conventions.

Coding conventions are a set of guidelines that developers use to write consistent and easy-to-read code. By following these conventions, you can make your code more readable and maintainable.

In addition, following coding conventions can help reduce the number of software defects. This is because developers are more likely to catch errors when they are following a consistent set of rules.

Simply put, having a consistent way of coding that is generally accepted by other programmers would be considered as having high-quality code. For example, naming conventions for variables should be consistent.

There are different coding conventions for each language so make sure to look for the one you need for your language.

Some common conventions include:

Tip #2: Use Automated Code Review Tools

Automated code review tools are tools that analyze your code for potential problems. They can be used to find bugs, style issues, and security vulnerabilities.

Using an automated code review tool can help improve your code quality by catching potential problems early on. This will save you time in the long run compared to normal code reviews, as you will not have to debug your code.

In addition, using an automated code review tool can help enforce coding standards and conventions, which will make your code more consistent and easier to read.

Codiga is one of the leading coding tools that offer automated code reviews.

Such tools can really help you learn from some common mistakes and get you writing high-quality code in no time. Think of it as having a smart senior developer for a coding assistant!

Tip #3: Write Clear & Concise Comments

If you're going to be collaborating with a development team, you'll want to learn how to write clear and concise comments.

Commenting on your code is important for a number of reasons. First, it helps you to remember how your code works. Second, it makes it easier for other developers to understand your code. Finally, comments can help prevent bugs by providing additional information about the logic behind your code.

When writing comments, be sure to make them concise and to the point. It's also important not to write comment descriptions beyond what is needed.

In a study by IEEE, technical debt (TD) was found to increase as the number of developer participants editing the code increased. In a world where remote developer teams are becoming more common, having high-quality comments can go a long way in helping with collaboration and keeping TD low.

If you're not sure how to write a clear comment, try to imagine how someone who is unfamiliar with your code would interpret it. Codiga can also help to reduce technical debt!

In my personal experience of working in data science and data mining projects in Python, technical debt gets harder to solve when accumulated. Therefore, having good comments early on will lead to less frustration when debugging and higher code quality.

Tip #4: Use Smart Code Snippets

Code snippets are used all the time when coding, especially boilerplate code, which is used repetitively across functions. This is where smart code snippets can help with improving your code quality.

Smart code snippets are very much different from the code snippets many developers are aware of. They are typically stored in a database contributed by users that are searchable.

The Codiga Hub is a smart code snippet network that you can utilize to ensure you'll get easy access to code snippets.

By following smart code snippets from other experienced developers in this network, you'll be sure to have high-quality code.

Tip #5: Use Highly-Supported Libraries

When it comes to using libraries for your code, it's important to choose ones that are well-supported. Well-supported libraries are those that are actively maintained by the development community.

This means that if you run into any problems with the library, there is a good chance that someone has already fixed it. If you happen to discover something that breaks your code, your solution is sure to be somewhere within the community.

In addition, well-supported libraries tend to have better documentation, which can save you time when you're trying to figure out how to use them.

Finally, using a well-supported library can give you peace of mind knowing that your code is compatible with the latest version of the library.

Some well-supported libraries include React and Angular.

Wrapping up

To wrap things up, here are my five simple tips to improve your code quality:

These are just a few simple tips that can help improve your code quality. By following these tips, you can write better code that is easier to read, understand, and maintain.

I hope you found these tips helpful! Thank you for reading.

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