6 Hacks to Make a Programmer’s Life Easier

Aug 29, 2020 · 3 min read
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Programming LifeHacks

Whether you are a novice or experienced programmer, following these helpful professional tips will save you time and greatly improve the quality of your code.

1) Make Code For Humans, Not just Machines

When you are writing code, you must always think: Will another programmer understand what you have written? That other programmer may very well be your future self. To ensure readability, it’s essential to make your identifiers (i.e. variable and function names) consistent throughout your code. Additionally, designing a similar length, grammatical structure, and explanatory style when naming your functions will provide uniformity and help anyone who is reading the code.

Martin Fowler

2) Make Code You will Remember

This won’t be the last code you write, so write code you will remember six months or a year from now. Name your methods with short but descriptive verbs representing the action they perform. When coding with numbers and strings, assign meaningful variables that will be recognizable later on. Using meaningless numbers, signs and symbols will only create frustration in the future. Keep it simple and straightforward.

3) Use the Right Language to Solve the Problem

When it comes to deciding which programming language to use, choose the right language for the project. Often new programmers try to cut corners and code with a language they already know, even if a different language is better suited for the task. Finding and using the correct language or tool for the project might increase the work but putting in the extra time will be worth it in the long run. Remember, it’s better to take the extra time and do a job right the first time, than to take shortcuts and have to go back and fix the loopholes you missed initially.

4) If You Get Stuck, Take a Break

Everyone has those moments when you get so frustrated with coding you start yelling and blaming your troubles on your computer. If or when this happens, take a step back from your computer and do something to take your mind off coding. Perhaps a bathroom break or a walk around the block will be sufficient. But often it’s better to work on another project or take a half hour break from work completely and do something relaxing. Once you feel refreshed and energized, take another stab at the code.

5) Keep Methods Maintainable

Complicated monster methods are a common error seen among novice programmers. To save time and headaches, limit your methods to a manageable size making your code easier and quicker to read and maintain. When you have lengthy methods, break it up into smaller descriptive components, each portion representing a well-abstracted action. If you don’t do this proactively, the monster method will win. With maintainable methods, not only will the code be more readable, it makes debugging the code simpler and less time consuming.

6) Code in English

Using English as your main coding language will simplify everything. English has become the universal language of code. To improve the usability and versatility of your code, you must use a language all programmers can read and understand. Having a universal language facilitates efficiency, readability and commonality as well as, it allows programmers to connect internationally with one another and share their codes easily without need for translation.

Although some of these tips may seem tedious or time consuming now, once you incorporate them into your daily coding routine, you we quickly see enhanced work performance and efficiently throughout your daily tasks.

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