Currently, the development of applications for programmers has been a challenge, each developer has its own way of solving a problem and on the way you find written code that does not decipher what it does; it is visualized that the code works of wonder, but it is not known how it works and this is because they are with two types of developers, both can be very good, but one is able to make code maintainable and the other is not , and we refer to maintainable code to one that has the quality to change over time and be able to adapt to changes without the need for the same owner of the program to modify or decrypt it, any other developer can read the code without problem and give maintenance.
That is the challenge that every developer faces today and one way to mitigate this risk is to write code using design principles, such as SOLID, which are attributes that indicate whether your software design is better or worse, these principles they are not strict rules to follow when writing a code, nevertheless you have to understand their motivation and apply them with criteria, which you can find when you apply design patterns, which will help over time to build an application that is easy to maintain. Standardized software guarantees a quality product and helps developers to understand the code more easily and with time to change it. It is said that a good code is not necessary to be commented to understand it and if you code with standards you will be able to write an understandable and clean code.
Next, are some good practices that should be taken into account in any software development project:
- Choose the appropriate development methodology.The main thing is to select the type of methodology that best suits the type of project you plan to develop, if your idea is to start a small startup, it would not be convenient to develop your idea with RUP, which is a methodology loaded with documentation, perhaps the best would be Go for some Agile methodology such as XP or ICONIX, for that reason you should investigate and choose the most convenient for the project.
- Use estimation techniques and budgets
Many software projects fail because they do not have the necessary budget to finish the development, for this reason it is in the early phase of development where the necessary resources must be established (human and material) and the cost that this influences, to avoid surprises at full march the best is to use contrasting estimation and budgeting techniques, Planning poker is a technique widely used for estimating agile methodologies.
- Document the requirements
It is vital to document the functional and non-functional requirements from the beginning of a software project in a clear and concise way, to gather all the interested parties and define the requirements, as is the environment or environments in which they wish to be deployed the application, the possible failures, the performance, the architecture, the system and the design.
- Choose the right architecture
As in the construction projects, if you do not choose an appropriate architecture for the type of floor in which you plan to build a building, this will possibly collapse, it is also for a software project if according to the specifications and requirements of what you want to develop, no select the architecture well your solution may not work to the extent you want it to do so, a good option is to consult with a software architect, so he can support you and in that way choose one that fits your needs.
- Define development standards
Every developer must define a standard of work with which he will write his code and which the team can understand, for example define the type of writing that we will use to create our classes, our variables, etc. For every developer it is easy to understand a method with the name “SaveOrder”, that one written in this way “saveorder”.
- Use version control in your source code
Every software project has a changing life cycle and it is possible that a reversion to an earlier version of the product being developed is needed, the old way was perhaps to have a backup of each software version that is deployed, but if is in the 100 version of a project, that means you would have 100 backups, and if it is a team that works on the project that means that the way you centralize the code is copying and pasting your code, which is not very nice if you think about it, for that reason today there are several version control repositories such as SVN and GIT, each developer is free to choose which version control is adapted to their needs, and if your budget is limiting, you can choose some free.
- Say No to Harcode
The silent enemy of the developers is called hard code or also known as Hardcode, many times one has found the need to make a solution quickly and to do so come to place static code in the application, which in the long run software maintenance, since the slightest change forces you to launch some other version of the software.
- Apply design patterns
The design patterns, help developers to create the solution to a problem in a reusable way, in such a way that you save time, they help you to be sure of the validity of your code and the main thing to establish a common language that can be adapted to the problem that a developer has set out to solve.
- Applies the SOLID design principles.
Use the Solid design principles, which are attributes that help you identify if the code you plan to develop is good or bad and if it is applied with criteria according to the solution you want to obtain, you can create an easy project to maintain and expand.
- Use the tools that the development IDE offers you
Learn the tools that each development IDE provides, for example Visual Studio shows messages and warnings in order to help verify obsolete references, which will stop being maintained and could be potential errors in the future, as well as simplified and readable forms to be able to build our code.
- Show the code you write to others
Before starting to write code it is good to propose the ideas you have with the other members of the team in order to receive feedback and make sure what you have in mind is understandable to others, since 5 heads think better than one.
- Perform code review sessions.
Also known as code review, it is necessary to make code reviews, these can be done through a team member or a third party expert, in this way you can detect errors at an early stage that the tests can not detect and verify if they are being applied. good practices in the code that is written.
- Plan a test plan.
A rigorous testing plan must be carried out, these must go hand in hand with the development, the errors found in the application must be informed and the correct documentation of them must be documented, which will guarantee to identify the errors at an early stage and resolved with a lower cost, ideally these tests are optimized, there are currently many tools with which you can successfully perform test plans such as selenium that helps make automated functional tests to test web applications.
- Define metrics
Measurement is considered in all types of projects as an effective tool to detect problems, identify opportunities for improvement, prioritize the main concerns, follow up and improve the quality of the product, for example, collecting metrics at the end of a testing period can help you Evaluate if your test plan is fulfilling the outlined objective.
- Plan a support and maintenance strategy
Once the project is already deployed and working, you should design a plan to give support and maintenance to obtain a report of possible errors and give them the necessary support, remember that no software project is perfect.