Search Berg, December 1, 2023 | 4 min read

Secrets to Writing Clean and Efficient Code Every Programmer Should Know

Monitor showing Java programming

In today’s tech-driven world, programming is everywhere. Every major tech company relies on it for their daily operations. In fact, it’s hard to come across organizations that haven’t delved into programming at some point.

With the promising growth and future prospects associated with programming, more and more people aspire to become proficient programmers. If you’re one of those aspiring individuals, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to discover the top 9 coding tips for programmers that can make your programming journey smoother in San Antonio.

1. Emphasize the Fundamentals

Underestimating the importance of revisiting the basics? Think again. Just as in any field, establishing a strong foundation in the fundamentals is pivotal for achieving enduring success.

The knowledge you acquire at the commencement of your programming education or coding bootcamp lays the groundwork for understanding more intricate topics down the line.

Neglecting basic computer programming may lead to setbacks in the future. Therefore, even if the fundamentals initially seem mundane or inconsequential, it’s crucial to acknowledge their indispensable role in your learning journey.

2. Adhere to a Coding Standard

Crafting poorly structured and disorganized code is effortless, but maintaining such code proves challenging. High-quality code typically adheres to a standard for naming conventions, formatting, and more. These standards enhance code readability and adaptability for those who read your code, including yourself.

While you can create your coding standard, it’s preferable to adopt one with broader acceptance. Utilizing publicly maintained standards such as Zend Framework Coding Standard or the soon-to-be-released PSR-1 Coding Style Guide facilitates easier adaptation by others.

3. Craft Thoughtful Comments

Comments play a vital role, especially when revisiting a thousand-line script after a few days. Thoughtful comments not only benefit your understanding but also assist those who follow in maintaining your code. Employ concise comments for unclear lines, provide detailed descriptions for functions and methods, and elucidate the logic behind intricate blocks. Remember always to keep your comments up to date.

Laptop screen showing a programming language

4. Choose Descriptive Names

Steer clear of generic variable names like $k, $m, or $test. Meaningful code relies on well-chosen variable, function/method, and class names. Opt for names like $request, $dbResult, or $tempFile. Depending on your coding style guidelines, these might use camelCase, PascalCase, or underscores.

5. Prioritize Meaningful Application Structures

Effective application structuring holds significant importance; avoid complex structures and embrace simplicity. When naming directories and files, adhere to a naming convention established with your team or one aligned with your coding standard.

Ensure a clear separation of the four main components in a typical PHP application –HTML Templates/Layouts, CSS, PHP Code, and JavaScript. Additionally, strive to distinguish between libraries and business logic for each component. Keeping your directory hierarchy as shallow as possible facilitates easier navigation and code retrieval.

6. Explore Valuable Online Coding Resources

There’s an abundance of information on virtually every subject on the internet. This wealth of knowledge becomes especially beneficial when embarking on the journey to learn how to code. Whether you opt to enroll in a coding bootcamp or prefer exploring free online coding courses on platforms like YouTube and other streaming services, the online realm provides extensive opportunities for coding education.

A major benefit of this learning approach lies in the varied formats in which information is presented. Should a particular explanation prove challenging to comprehend, alternative explanations are readily available elsewhere. Delving into supplementary resources on the path to becoming a computer programmer is instrumental in elevating your coding career to new heights.

7. Optimize Your Algorithms and Data Structures

Efficiency is a core concern in coding, and mastering algorithms and data structures is essential. Choose the most appropriate algorithms for your tasks, considering factors like time complexity and space complexity.

Keep abreast of algorithmic optimizations and leverage them when applicable. Efficient data structures can significantly impact the performance of your code, so choose wisely based on the specific requirements of your application.

8. Error Handling with Grace

Writing robust code involves anticipating and handling errors gracefully. Avoid using generic catch-all exceptions; instead, implement specific error-handling mechanisms for different scenarios. Provide meaningful error messages that aid debugging and troubleshooting.

Additionally, consider incorporating logging to track errors and system behavior during runtime. This proactive approach to error handling improves code reliability and makes it easier to identify and address issues.

9. Regularly Refactor Your Codebase

Refactoring is not just a one-time activity but an ongoing process in the life of a codebase. Regularly revisit your code to identify areas for improvement, whether it’s enhancing readability, optimizing performance, or addressing potential issues. A well-maintained and continuously improved codebase is a testament to a programmer’s commitment to quality.

A person typing on a laptop on a desk

As you navigate the vast landscape of online coding resources, consider taking your coding skills to the next level with Tech Talent and Strategy. We can connect you with coding bootcamps designed to provide a comprehensive and hands-on learning experience, ensuring that you acquire the skills needed for a successful career in programming. If you’re on the lookout for a coding school that prioritizes practical knowledge and industry relevance, contact us at TTS.