The Principles You Should Follow For Efficient Code

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The Principles You Should Follow For Efficient Code

The Principles You Should Follow For Efficient Code
  • May 20, 2021
  • Hiba Sulaiman

Many of you work in software development on a regular basis. You build branches, merge requests, and patches when working on tickets/issues/tasks. How many of you make it a religious practice to do code reviews or send the code to others to review? Is your team reviewing each and every line of code that is written? If your organization or team does not yet have a code review culture, now is the time to start. If you have a sloppy code review process, you should make it more structured. In this article, I’ll clarify why code reviews are essential for a software development team, as well as how they can help a large team/company maintain a consistent codebase.

If you’re a developer going through a code review, this article will help you correct obvious errors in your code in reverse. Here’s how:

1. Coherence/Consistency

Still search for continuity as a code reviewer. The maintenance of software projects relies heavily on consistency. When working on several projects at the same time, inconsistency can cost a team a lot of money. Teams prefer to have a project per service rather than a single code base in the new microservices community. Inconsistency can create tension in feature creation when your team is jumping between several smaller projects.

  • When searching for errors in code, keep the following elements in mind:
  • Is there anything in this merge request that affects the overall project definition’s consistency?
  • Is this project’s runtime environment (container, stand-alone) and runtime execution definition (docker-compose, Makefile) the same as other projects?
  • Is the software architecture (entity vs behavioral project structure) affected by this project (merge request)?
  • Is there any code in the merge request that uses different naming conventions (camelCase vs snake case, for example) or module names than the defined/standard ones?

It confuses a newly on-boarded developer in the team if I have a hundred different ways to design and operate a hundred projects due to a developer’s laziness. This is why maintaining a consistent pattern of code is paramount. This method of consistency is followed by professional companies that offer code review services so it’s better to hire them if you can’t maintain code consistency.

2. Simple Code

All effective software projects start with basic, maintainable code. A merge request is not readable if a code reviewer cannot grasp it at first glance. If a code reviewer can’t find out how the given code update achieves the function specification after seeing the JIRA problem, then the code isn’t pure enough to read.

As a result, it is the duty of a code reviewer to ensure that the merge request is readable. 

The following is a checklist to search for:

  • Are you able to figure out what code is doing just by looking at it?
  • Is the code delivering on the promises made in the functional specification?
  • Is the developer going overboard with a minor change?
  • Is the developer making changes to the JIRA problem (Feature or Bug) that aren’t part of it? (Those changes should be split up into their own merge request.)

3. Patterns in Design

A professional web development company providing code review services knows that design patterns are meant to unite people around a shared point of view. They can differ depending on the programming language used and the technology stack used. Java programmers, for example, can adhere to Gang of Four patterns religiously. Correspondingly, instead of using function-based views, Django developers can use class-based views. These kinds of habits are always changing, and it’s important to stay on top of the community’s best practices. Aside from following best practices, rather than reinventing the wheel, one may reuse existing code.

When searching for design trends, these should be on the code review checklist:

  • Examine the code to see if it follows a common design pattern such as a singleton or an abstract factory. Get a run-time project configuration based on the context, for example, A database link that should only be set up once.
  • Is the abstraction provided by code adequate for other modules/classes?
  • Is the developer trying to invent something new? Is it possible for him to use a proper construct rather than implementing a function from scratch? 
  • Is it obvious if the code handles concurrent patterns such as asynchronous callbacks and is it easy to determine if the code execution direction is deterministic?

4. Code-Level Consequences

This section covers a lot of ground, and a code analysis will cover a lot of low-level information. All of the points in this section revolve around looking for the basic characteristics of good code. As a reviewer, you can look for code-level best practices such as performance enhancements, bottleneck identification, and runtime debugging provisioning.

  • Are all database links and file streams closed properly? Is there a possibility of memory leaks?
  • Are there some inefficient data structures in the code?
  • Is the code able to manage all potential errors? When built-in errors are too obscure to define system failure, are custom errors produced and used?
  • Is there a way to record useful messages for debugging during runtime?
  • Is the developer’s newly written code added at the end of a program or dependent on context?
  • Is the alphabetical order of the variables/entities maintained?
  • Is there any chance that this code would fail in a specific situation?
  • Are there any libraries that aren’t needed?

These are only a few of the many things you can look at and challenge in a merge request’s code. My recommendation is to keep an Excel sheet for any potential code problems you discover when analyzing other people’s code or from feedback on your own code.

Conclusion

Code reviews are beneficial not only to the project, but also provide developers with an excellent opportunity to share their experience and learn from others. So, the next time you merge a feature request, request a sincere code review from your team.

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