10 command(line)ments of being a good developer
- Thou Shalt add Comments
Who knows what is going on in your code if you don’t tell anyone. A good developer will make sure they add descriptive comments to help anyone who looks at their code to understand.
- Thou Shalt do Testing
Testing is imperative from Test driven development(TDD) to simple unit tests, although in the short term they might take longer to implement, in the long run they will be hugely beneficial. A good developer will start writing test as they go along sometimes even before they have even started writing any code.
- Thou Shalt Try and break
If you don’t try and break your own code someone else will. A good developer will add unexpected inputs, click in places that you wouldn’t expect, enter unknown web address, etc try and do whatever they can to break their own code to make sure that it is robust.
- Thou Shalt use good communication
There’s always this conception that developers are introvert and live in the dark, this isn’t the case in the majority. A good developer has the ability to communicate with not only another developer but various stakeholders in the project, from the end user to the project manager and not with the use of ‘technical jargon either’.
- Thou Shalt think about their end user
So the software is fantastic, does everything it was meant to do and more, yet it’s bright yellow and all the buttons are placed all over the screen. if your user can’t use what you have created what is the point? A good developer will make sure that they validate their design choices with an end user.
- Thou Shalt be Full Stack
Yes developers can have particular areas of expertise: front-end, back-end, databases. A good developer should be rounded enough to be able to work with all of these areas. They can still have an area of expertise but being able to work on multiple areas is very important.
- Thou Shalt help thy fellow developer
Suppose you have a variable that determines whether a tap is on, if you call it tapOn, perfect. However if you call it longPieceOfMetalOnOrOff that isn’t going to help anyone, especially when it comes to the maintenance of your code. A good developer will make sure that things are named appropriately and logically.
- Thou Shalt make things simple
This comes to down to code structure and simplicity. If you have five methods all doing the same little bit of logic, turn that logic into one method and have all the methods call that same method, that way should you need to modify this it is all editable in one place. In a house you have separate rooms for separate things, you don’t do everything in the same room. A good developer will apply this principle to their code, they won’t put it all in one file, they will break it down and separate it out.
- Thou Shalt use source control
Source control, through the means of git, is very important. It has three main properties: as a form of backup, to allow multiple people to work on the same piece of code and to see the changes that have been made to code files. A good developer will regularly commit to their git branches to allow for their changes to be protected.
- Thou Shalt evolve
In such a fast moving industry constant learning is very important. A good developer will keep himself up to speed with the latest technologies and practices to allow themselves to have all the tools in their arsenal to tackle any problems.
Happy Easter Everyone!