Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Software Programmers Best Practice Coding and Team Development

If you work with a team of developers like I often am doing in the UK, one thing that is an important key to a successful software project is the alignment of coding practices. You may not necessarily have the best set of coding practices going on a given project but it is more important that all the members of the team follow the same approaches to the majority of all similar situations in a project, or what you have pretty soon is a mess.

In other words, alignment amonst team members is more important than the creation of a perfectly architected and coded application. When I go in to work with a new team, I always initially adopt the coding practices and styles that are already being used, even if I can see ways that those practices could be improved on in subsequent or future projects.

One tremendously powerful approach to aligning the coding practices of team members is the use of code generators. I have found this particularly useful in building the middle tier of a multi-tiered application, where a substantial amount of the necessary coding, or at the very least the prototype for it, can be predicted from a data structure that has already been determined. When coding graphical user interfaces to interact with my datastructure, I do not really want to be bothering myself with having to write the same data-access code over and over. Code generation in this middle layer, not only means I don't have to, be in is one way to provide a project with a consistent coding approach, as it forms a strong and consistent foundataion on top of which the subsequent GUI can be coded.

Code generation in this middle tier also removes any incentive to cut corners, and by use of templates where best practice has really been thought about thoroughly, it provides an amplification effect, by replicating these best practices automatically accross the entire set of business layer objects. Quite in adition to this, then, at the same time it provides a compelling drive amonst all the software programmers and development team members to working on the basis of a common framework, and a consistent approach to designed coding structure of the product being built.

1 comment:

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