Computer programming practices you should know to take your career to the next level

When you start programming, you mostly focus on the technical aspects and plumbing of actually writing code. You choose a programming language of choice for instance Javascript or Python or Java. Then you learn how the language syntax and get on an interesting professional or hobby project. However, programming is more than this.

You also need to learn about several programming practices. These programming practices, including Integration Testing, Continuous Monitoring, Version Control, and Agile Methodologies, contribute to efficient and high-quality software development. They promote collaboration, feedback loops, and the ability to respond to changing requirements and environments effectively. Each practice has its own set of tools, techniques, and best practices, which can be tailored to suit the specific needs of a project or organization.

So here we go;

  1. Continuous Integration (CI): Continuous Integration is a practice where developers frequently integrate their code changes into a shared repository, and these changes are automatically built, tested, and validated. This helps detect integration issues early in the development process. For example, in a CI setup, whenever a developer pushes code changes to the repository, a build server triggers a build process, runs tests, and provides immediate feedback on the code quality. This ensures that code changes are continuously integrated and validated, reducing the risk of conflicts and integration problems.
  2. Continuous Deployment (CD): Continuous Deployment extends the concept of Continuous Integration by automating the deployment process. Once code changes pass the CI pipeline, they are automatically deployed to production environments. This enables faster and more frequent releases, reducing the time between development and production. For instance, with CD, every successful code change triggers an automated deployment pipeline that builds the software, runs additional tests, and deploys it to production servers. This practice streamlines the release process, improves efficiency, and allows for rapid feedback from users.
  3. DevOps: DevOps is a collaborative approach that brings together development and operations teams to streamline software delivery. It emphasizes automation, communication, and shared responsibilities. With DevOps, developers and operations work closely together, leveraging tools and practices to automate processes, deploy applications reliably, and monitor performance. For example, using infrastructure-as-code tools like Terraform or configuration management tools like Ansible, teams can define and manage infrastructure and deployment processes in a version-controlled manner, promoting consistency and reproducibility.
  4. Code Review: Code Review is a practice where peers or team members review code changes to ensure code quality, identify bugs, and provide feedback. Code reviews help catch errors, enforce coding standards, and promote knowledge sharing within the team. For instance, in a code review, a developer submits their code changes, and other team members review the changes, looking for potential issues or improvements. They can provide suggestions, ask questions, and discuss the proposed changes. This iterative process helps identify and resolve issues early, leading to higher-quality code.
  5. Refactoring: Refactoring involves improving code quality and structure without changing its functionality. It focuses on simplifying code, improving readability, and reducing technical debt. Refactoring eliminates redundant or duplicated code, improves naming conventions, and enhances code organization. For example, consider a piece of code that performs a complex calculation. By refactoring it into smaller, reusable functions and providing meaningful variable names, the code becomes more modular, readable, and maintainable.
  6. Unit Testing: Unit testing involves writing and running automated tests to verify the correctness of individual code units, such as functions or methods. Unit tests are typically written by developers themselves and executed frequently during the development process. For example, in a JavaScript application, a unit test for a specific function can check if it returns the expected output for different input scenarios. Unit tests provide fast feedback, help catch bugs early, and provide confidence when making changes to the codebase.
  7. Integration Testing: Integration Testing focuses on testing the interaction between different components or modules of an application. It ensures that these components work together correctly and meet the expected behavior. For example, in a web application, integration testing can involve verifying the communication between the frontend and backend systems, testing API integrations, or validating interactions between various services. Integration tests help uncover issues that may arise due to the integration of different parts of the system and ensure smooth collaboration between them.
  8. Continuous Monitoring: Continuous Monitoring involves monitoring the health, performance, and availability of applications and infrastructure in real-time. It provides insights into system behavior, identifies potential issues or bottlenecks, and helps maintain optimal performance. Monitoring tools can collect and analyze various metrics, logs, and events to track system performance and detect anomalies. For instance, monitoring tools can alert the team if response times exceed a threshold, server resources are running low, or errors occur frequently. Continuous monitoring enables proactive identification and resolution of issues, ensuring a stable and reliable system. Examples of search tools include New Relic, Datadog, Prometheus.
  9. Version Control: Version Control is a practice that enables tracking and managing changes to source code over time. It allows multiple developers to collaborate, keep track of modifications, and revert to previous versions if necessary. Version control systems, such as Git (and Github which is a web application that uses Git version control), provide a repository where developers can commit their changes, create branches for new features, and merge code changes seamlessly. For example, version control allows developers to work on different features concurrently, track the history of code changes, and easily collaborate on shared codebases. It ensures code integrity, facilitates teamwork, and simplifies code management.
  10. Agile Methodologies: Agile methodologies are iterative and collaborative approaches to software development that prioritize flexibility, adaptability, and customer satisfaction. Agile methodologies, such as Scrum or Kanban, emphasize delivering value in short development cycles called sprints or iterations. Agile teams work closely with stakeholders, continuously gather feedback, and adapt the project scope based on changing requirements. These methodologies promote frequent communication, transparency, and a focus on delivering working software incrementally. By breaking down large projects into manageable chunks and incorporating feedback, Agile methodologies foster collaboration, improve customer satisfaction, and enable faster response to change.

Those are the 10 most popular programming practices that you should know. But you can also read about Pair programming, Linting, Code style guidelines, Stakeholders map, Design Sprints, Prototyping, Semantic releases, and extreme programming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *