Linked Questions

273
votes
25answers
66k views

How do you know you're writing good code? [duplicate]

I love programming. I've been messing around with code since I was a kid. I never went the professional route, but I have coded several in-house applications for various employers, including a project ...
73
votes
17answers
7k views

What hurts maintainability? [duplicate]

For someone who doesn't have much real world experience yet, the notion of maintainable code is a bit vague, even though it follows from typical good practice rules. Intuitively I can tell that code ...
57
votes
11answers
42k views

What characteristics or features make code maintainable? [duplicate]

I used to think I knew what this was, until I really started thinking about it... "maintainable"... what exactly makes code maintainable? To me, if code must be maintainable that means we can expect ...
32
votes
9answers
4k views

How clean should new code be? [duplicate]

I'm the lead designer in our team, which means I'm responsible for the quality of the code; functionality, maintainability and readability. How clean should I require my team members' code to be if ...
11
votes
8answers
8k views

Are there any easy-to-follow/reliable methods for simplifying code? [duplicate]

There is a problem with the way I code. Regardless of how much of a plan I write beforehand, the code becomes overcomplicated quickly. Reading books on good practice and attempting to adhere to their ...
20
votes
9answers
2k views

What exactly makes code “clean”? [duplicate]

I am an intern at a small software company, doing typical grunt work. Many tasks that the actual developers are doing are above my head however I finally got to see some real "action" and write some ...
15
votes
6answers
14k views

Maximum nesting for loops and conditionals? [duplicate]

I've written some code that has some fairly deep nests (one time, I wrote something that was a conditional check inside a forloop inside a conditional check inside a forloop inside a forloop). Is ...
18
votes
4answers
4k views

How much refactoring is acceptable? [duplicate]

I am currently in a project where one of my developer colleagues constantly refactors stuff on every ticket he's doing. We are using agile methodologies. I know that refactoring is a good thing to do ...
8
votes
3answers
10k views

What defines code readability? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How would you know if you've written readable and easily maintainable code? It is often said that readability is perhaps the most important quality-defining measure of a ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

OO - are large classes acceptable? [duplicate]

Despite many years in IT, I still struggle with OO design. One particular problem I seem to keep ending up with is large classes, often containing many hundreds of lines of code. The OO world talks a ...
2
votes
1answer
10k views

Good practice to hold Constants in their own file? [duplicate]

I've noticed some projects like to store constants in their own file, i.e constants used globally and in the main program loop might clutter the main file so perhaps they look to place them elsewhere ...
2
votes
3answers
591 views

Limit useless complexity in code [duplicate]

I have a question, to explain that, what better than an entirely fictional example? Let's say you are a young developer just being employed in a firm. All data is stored in a huge database (let's ...
3
votes
2answers
858 views

When does extracting methods from code stop to make sense? [duplicate]

I am currently studying the refactoring methods defined by Marting Fowler (http://refactoring.com/catalog/). He states a tip for replacing chunks of code by a single method that does that job. So ...
2
votes
2answers
987 views

Prevent code from getting mess [duplicate]

I am a student and a freelance programmer. These days I am developing a software in VB6 which has recently crossed 100KB of source code. The main problem, I face is, many times I have to refactor my ...
1
vote
3answers
702 views

Self-Evaluation: How do I know if I actually have a “good grasp” of OOP? [duplicate]

If I skip the back story and any thoughts I have on this topic, there's really only one question left to ask: How can I find out if I have a "good grasp" on OOP? (I am specifically using PHP, but ...
4
votes
4answers
316 views

Styleguide when coding in a static language [duplicate]

I am currently a junior engineer and keen on learning best practices and expanding my experience. My question concerns any static programming language such as Java, C#, C++ etc. When I am writing ...
0
votes
2answers
919 views

“positively formulated” vs. “reads as english sentence” style logic [duplicate]

Sorry, I'd be happy to have someone improve the title of this question. What are the benefits and downsides of "positively formulated" logic vs. having it "english readable". I'm looking for a ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Callback functions: Semantics and maintainability, when they aren't necessary [duplicate]

Within the context of JavaScript/Node.JS; Will using Callback functions improve the maintainability of source code, when there is no need for async programming? For example does the plain code sound ...
1
vote
4answers
160 views

Use the company style guide or try to match the incorrect source files? [duplicate]

I'm currently working on a large project in C++. The style guide for this language has been well defined by my company and is available for everyone to see. This particular code-base is being ...
-3
votes
1answer
906 views

Best practices: Number of return statements [duplicate]

I'd like to ask about best practices on return statements. So, what would be more preferable, something like... ... String r = null; if(var != null) { r = "NOT NULL!"; } return r; Or something ...
5
votes
1answer
393 views

If TDD is design, how do you know your TDD is well designed? [duplicate]

Given a large group (50+) of programmers: All given the same problem, All using Test-Driven Development (TDD), All pair programming, All doing group-based code review, I have personally seen the ...
5
votes
3answers
272 views

How to avoid falling into the trap of not commenting code? [duplicate]

I've been working on a project for about a month now. I am extremely familiar with the code and understand it to the extent where I feel that it is so easy to understand, that most methods don't need ...
3
votes
2answers
210 views

Are there any well-known quantitative approaches to evaluate a particular design whether it satisfies or violates the SOLID design principles? [duplicate]

I designed an application framework by considering the SOLID design principles and supported by design patterns. However, I wonder if there are any automated tools or well-known approaches to evaluate ...
57
votes
34answers
18k views

When would someone be considered a bad programmer? [closed]

How would you consider that a programmer is bad at what he or she is doing? If possible... How should he/she improve?
140
votes
18answers
42k views

Is there an excuse for short variable names?

This has become a large frustration with the codebase I'm currently working in; many of our variable names are short and undescriptive. I'm the only developer left on the project, and there isn't ...
169
votes
15answers
48k views

Developer insists if statements shouldn't have negated conditions, and should always have an else block

I have an acquaintance, a more seasoned developer than me. We were talking about programming practices and I was taken aback by his approach on 'if' statements. He insists on some practices regarding ...
86
votes
21answers
13k views

How would you react if someone told you your code is a mess?

I am a good programmer, or so I thought before. I always love to program. And I want to learn many things about programming to make me a better programmer. I studied programming for 1 year and now I ...
95
votes
13answers
18k views

Should we eliminate local variables if we can?

For example, to keep a CPU on in Android, I can use code like this: PowerManager powerManager = (PowerManager)getSystemService(POWER_SERVICE); WakeLock wakeLock = powerManager.newWakeLock(...
99
votes
12answers
17k views

I've been told that Exceptions should only be used in exceptional cases. How do I know if my case is exceptional?

My specific case here is that the user can pass in a string into the application, the application parses it and assigns it to structured objects. Sometimes the user may type in something invalid. ...
82
votes
11answers
8k views

How can I make sure that I'm actually learning how to program rather than simply learning the details of a language? [closed]

I often hear that a real programmer can easily learn any language within a week. Languages are just tools for getting things done, I'm told. Programming is the ultimate skill that must be learned and ...
57
votes
9answers
8k views

Readability versus maintainability, special case of writing nested function calls

My coding style for nested function calls is the following: var result_h1 = H1(b1); var result_h2 = H2(b2); var result_g1 = G1(result_h1, result_h2); var result_g2 = G2(c1); var a = F(result_g1, ...
40
votes
18answers
28k views

What should be the maximum length of a function? [closed]

What should be the maximum length of a function? And are there cases which are an exception to this?
41
votes
13answers
28k views

What does it mean to write “good code”? [closed]

In this question I asked whether being a bad writer hinders you from writing good code. Many of the answers started of with "it depends on what you mean by good code". It appears that the term "good ...
38
votes
14answers
7k views

How important is it to clean up someone else's code when faced with a tight deadline? [closed]

(I'm talking about HTML / CSS code (not programming languages) but I think we also face the same issue as with programmers.) I am the senior front-end designer in a team and I often have to re-work ...
42
votes
8answers
6k views

Beginning a sentence with a function name? [closed]

Occasionally while typing something up that relates to a case-sensitive programming language I end up starting a sentence with a function name. Now the rules of English state that the first word in a ...
76
votes
4answers
16k views

What is the purpose of a Code Review

I am in the process of trying to sell my organisation on the value of code reviews. I have worked at several places where they were employed. I have seen them used to nitpick styling choices, and ...
53
votes
9answers
10k views

What's the right balance between code consistency and code improvement?

Recently I had a discussion with a colleague regarding code style. He was arguing that your usage of APIs and the general patterns you are using should be as similar as possible with the surrounding ...
29
votes
11answers
6k views

How many design patterns and levels of abstraction are necessary? [closed]

How can I tell my software has too much abstraction and too many design patterns, or the other way round, how do I know if it should have more of them? Developers I work with are programming ...
38
votes
7answers
7k views

Does it make sense to create blocks just to reduce a variable's scope?

I'm writing a program in Java where at one point I need to load a password for my keystore. Just for fun, I tried to keep my password in Java as short as possible by doing this: //Some code .... ...
29
votes
6answers
40k views

Create new object or reset every property?

public class MyClass { public object Prop1 { get; set; } public object Prop2 { get; set; } public object Prop3 { get; set; } } Suppose I have an object myObject of ...
36
votes
5answers
21k views

At what point/range is a code file too big?

I'm finding lots of 2-3k line files, and it doesn't really feel like they should be that big. What is a good criteria to objectively call a source code file "too big"?, is there such thing as a ...
21
votes
12answers
3k views

When does the “Do One Thing” paradigm become harmful?

For the sake of argument here's a sample function that prints contents of a given file line-by-line. Version 1: void printFile(const string & filePath) { fstream file(filePath, ios::in); ...
15
votes
6answers
3k views

When to use else in conditions? [duplicate]

When to use else in conditions? 1) a) long int multiplyNumbers(int n) { if (n >= 1) { return n*multiplyNumbers(n-1); } else { return 1; } } or b) long int ...
33
votes
5answers
20k views

Should I initialize C structs via parameter, or by return value? [closed]

The company I work at is initializing all of their data structures through an initialize function like so: //the structure typedef struct{ int a,b,c; } Foo; //the initialize function ...
27
votes
6answers
2k views

Method extraction vs underlying assumptions

When I split big methods (or procedures, or functions — this question is not specific to OOP, but since I work in OOP languages 99% of the time, it's the terminology that I'm most comfortable with) ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

What can one do to improve readability of math-oriented code in C#, Java, and similar? [closed]

As both a C programmer and a C# programmer, one of the things I don't like about C# is how verbose math functions are. Every time you would have to use a Sin, cosine, or power function for example, ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

Should you ever use private on fields and methods in C#?

I am somewhat new to C# and just found out that: in C# all of the fields and methods in a class are default private. Meaning that this: class MyClass { string myString } is the same as: class ...
15
votes
7answers
4k views

Should I write compact code or code with lots of spaces? [duplicate]

I have two friends that have completely different schools of thought on how to lay out their code. The first says that code should be well-indented and use lots of spaces and to name variables ...
18
votes
7answers
950 views

How to improve the training of students regarding maintainability? [closed]

Maintainability is a major stake of professional software development. Indeed, maintenance is nearly always the longest part of a software life cycle, as it lasts from the project release until ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it overkill to wrap a collection in a simple class only for the sake of better readability?

I have the following map: Map<Double, List<SoundEvent>> soundEventCells = new HashMap<Double, List<SoundEvent>>(); This HashMap maps double values (which are points in time) ...

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