Being a freelancer, I don't have access to corporate training programs where employees learn best practices. Most of the time I am advised to look into the available code on the Internet. Ideal places would be: CodePlex and SourceForge.

But this proves to be of limited rather very little help. I want my existing code to be analyzed and a better solution be suggested to improve the quality of the code.

How to learn coding that matches standards?

  • Do you mean coding standards (as in where to put your curly braces), or software patterns and practices? Oct 25, 2010 at 20:14
  • The fact that you're worried about resolving this problem is already a huge advantage. IMO, if you combine an obsession with DRY code, testable code, architectural patterns, and read lots on SO, you'll be a long way towards your goal of learning "industry standards." Oct 25, 2010 at 21:05
  • 1
    As a full-time corporate employee, I don't have access to corporate training programs where employees learn best practices either! I think you overestimate the quality and standards of most corporate development. Oct 25, 2010 at 22:38
  • I spent a few years as Java trainer for a prestigious tools vendor at the beginning of the century ;). I got inside the development departments at many big and small companies and got to sit down with the devs and... @Carson63000 is right. Books and the Internet can teach you all you need to know about standards. Corporate training is MOSTLY about getting the time off to study. Oct 26, 2010 at 1:18
  • @Robert: I didn't mean that. When I compare my code with many open-source scripts, I am disappointed. I feel I am years behind even after programming so much. The reason behind this is that I had no access to someone who can directly answer my query. Forums can give only a limited help. You can't just write it down always.
    – RPK
    Oct 26, 2010 at 5:23

4 Answers 4


The ideal solution is near you. There is a website called stackoverflow.com where thousand of fanatic developers are answering questions for free. Just for what is called reputation points. That website is full of extremely experienced professionnals and it's not very common to meet people like Jon Skeet the author of C# In Depth.

Your strategy? Try to answer to questions you know the answer, but also consult questions you may be interested in, such as the ones that talk about industry standards.

It is becoming so huge, that now I skip google, and search directly on stackoverflow.com.

  • Ditto - I think the people at Expertsexchange.com grind their teeth about it. Oct 25, 2010 at 18:14
  • @Todd: Expertsexchange.com? Resolves to a holding page? @Pierre: SO was my first thought when I saw this!
    – Chris
    Oct 25, 2010 at 18:34
  • Meh. StackOverflow is not a good place for looking for "industry-standard" coding practices, if there is such a thing. You're better off picking up a good "Patterns & Practices" book, or studying a code standards document from the many that are available on the web for every language. Oct 25, 2010 at 18:42
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    @Chris - My bad - they changed it to <experts-exchange.com>. I guess they got sick of the jokes about how the old domain name could be mis-read. Oct 25, 2010 at 18:43
  • @Robert - agreed about standards. I was agreeing with Pierre and Vimal that I skip Google for most development things and hit SO or related sites. Oct 25, 2010 at 18:44

If you are doing development in .NET you can get inexpensive or free static analysis of your code with a tool like FxCop (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=917023f6-d5b7-41bb-bbc0-411a7d66cf3c&displaylang=en). This does not cover best practices for the PROCESS of creating software but it does cover a lot of things that tend to wind up in best practices documents.

You did say "I want my existing code to be analyzed and a better solution be suggested to improve the quality of the code." so I think that FxCop would be a good place to start IF you are doing .NET development. I would imagine that there are similar static analysis tools for Java or other environments.

Good luck!

  • The real problem I find is that I am unable to decide the right feature for a situation.
    – RPK
    Oct 26, 2010 at 5:29
  • Ah - that's something else, then. That is one of those very subjective areas about how to solve a particular problem. I doubt that large-company training programs will provide that sort of heuristic training. The best you could hope for would be some sort of a primer on patterns, but even then there is usually more than one way to skin a cat. Oct 26, 2010 at 13:23

For C# code as well as FxCop (as mentioned by Todd) there's StyleCop.

StyleCop analyzes C# source code to enforce a set of style and consistency rules. It can be run from inside of Visual Studio or integrated into an MSBuild project.

It checks for different, complementary, things and can be useful.

Though, as for FxCop, don't run all your code through it in one go. The "errors" will overwhelm you.


Check out the relevant open-source projects in your programming language of choice and domain in places like github, sf.net etc

Actively participate in working with other developers in open-source, subscribe yourself to mailing lists, read the latest ideas in IBM Developeworks, ACM Queue and Dr Dobbs... Best of luck!

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