Questions for best practices for writing high quality code.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

17
votes
5answers
2k views

Descriptive naming vs. 80 character lines [closed]

I frequently hear these two valuable programming practices: (1) lines of code should be 80 characters or less and (2) use descriptive names for variables, methods, classes, etc. I understand the ...
4
votes
7answers
456 views

Should I spend time prettifying unit tests? [closed]

The company I used to work for before we had automated unit tests to test our work. However the coding standards and architecture was not very important for tests. Of course you had to indent code ...
89
votes
8answers
28k views

Recursion or while loops

I was reading about some development interview practices, specifically about the technical questions and tests asked at interviews and I've stumbled quite a few times over sayings of the genre "Ok you ...
8
votes
6answers
365 views

Is looking at random code snippets useful to quickly determine the quality of a project?

To get an idea of the quality of a project that I've never seen before (usually open source projects that I'm considering whether or not to use), I often start by opening random files and eyeballing ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Is code duplication a necessary evil in C?

I'm rather new to C, and I'm wondering if code duplication is a necessary evil when it comes to writing common data structures and C in general? I could try to write a generic implementation for a ...
6
votes
5answers
705 views

Is a coder that 'quality checks' bug fixes and bugs raised by testers a recognised role?

I've recently found myself frequently in the position where I'm checking both bug fixes by other programmers, and bugs raised by the QA team. Any bug fixes frequently end up having 'collateral ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

what tools should I use for quality assurance and testing for front end javascript? [closed]

I am using jquery and HTML 5 techniques (like File API, HistoryAPI) extensively in a project I am working on. I was wondering what tools I can use for quality assurance my javascript and front ...
7
votes
6answers
596 views

what is the best way to ensure accountability in code checkins?

Note: after writing this I realize that this question is perhaps philosophical, but I'm interested in how the industry handles this scenario regardless. I have recently been working with a code base ...
10
votes
5answers
789 views

Is adhering to one assert per test foolish consistency in this case?

I have a class that I'm testing. The class has a function: apply(List<IRule> rules, List<ITarget> targets); In one test I want to ensure that each target has been passed to one rule, a ...
0
votes
2answers
406 views

Store image as logic file (in db by using binary format) or physical file (in the server) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: what are the best tips for storing images in a database? In those study cases of image storage, An image that change only once in a while, if it changes at all (like ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

How to evaluate code quality when you're not familiar with the language? [closed]

As a hypothetical, if I were to interview someone for a new PHP developer position when my experience is in .NET, how can I determine if the code sample they've provided me is efficient and of good ...
10
votes
6answers
948 views

Which is more maintainable — boolean assignment via if/else or boolean expression?

Which would be considered more maintainable? if (a == b) c = true; else c = false; or c = (a == b); I've tried looking in Code Complete, but can't find an answer. I think the first is more ...
6
votes
3answers
852 views

At what point/range is a code file too big?

I'm finding lots of 2-3k line files, and it doesn't really feel like they should be that big. What is a good criteria to objectively call a source code file "too big"?, is there such thing as a ...
1
vote
3answers
349 views

Programming language features that help to catch bugs early [closed]

Do you know any programming language features that help to detect bugs early in the software development process - ideally at compile-time or else as early as possible at run-time? Examples of ...
48
votes
10answers
3k views

When does “proper” programming no longer matter?

I've been building an android game in my spare time. It's using the libgdx library so quite a bit of the heavy lifting is done for me. While developing, I carelessly selected datatypes for some ...
4
votes
4answers
834 views

Duplication of code (backend and javascript - knockout)

We have a new developer on our team. He seems to be a smart guy (he just came in so I cannot really judge). He started with implementing some small enhancements on the project (MVC3 web application ...
3
votes
4answers
494 views

Can notes/to-dos in code comments sent to code-reviews result in an effective refactoring process?

I want to start/improve a culture of collective code ownership at my company but at a geographically distributed level... I'd say there is some current collective code-ownership mentality, but only at ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the politically correct way of refactoring other's code? [duplicate]

I'm currently working in a geographically distributed team in a big company. Everybody is just focused on today's tasks and getting things done, however this means sometimes things have to be done the ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the best approach for inline code comments?

We are doing some refactoring to a 20 years old legacy codebase, and I'm having a discussion with my colleague about the comments format in the code (plsql, java). There is no a default format for ...
4
votes
1answer
101 views

Statistical Software Quality Control References

I'm looking for references about hypothesis testing in software management. For example, we might wonder whether "crunch time" leads to an increase in defect rate - this is a surprisingly difficult ...
8
votes
6answers
722 views

How to write good code with new stuff? [closed]

I always try to write easily readable code that is well structured. I face a particular problem when I am messing around with something new. I keep changing the code, structure and so many other ...
23
votes
8answers
2k views

Should comments say WHY the program is doing what it is doing? (opinion on a dictum by the inventor of Forth) [duplicate]

The often provocative Chuck Moore (inventor of the Forth language) gave the following advice[1]: Use comments sparingly! (I bet that's welcome.) Remember that program you looked through - the ...
33
votes
10answers
6k views

Are flag variables an absolute evil?

Are flag variables evil? Are the following kind of variables profoundly immoral and is it wicked to use them? "boolean or integer variables that you assign a value in certain places then down ...
8
votes
4answers
562 views

How can you get constructive criticism for your code?

My team rarely does code review, mainly because we don't have enough time and people lack the energy and will to do so. But I would really like to know what people think about my code when they read ...
4
votes
1answer
267 views

Distinguishing repetitive code with the same implementation

Given this sample code import java.util.ArrayList; import blackjack.model.items.Card; public class BlackJackPlayer extends Player { private double bet; private Hand hand01 = new Hand(); ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Should we exclude code for the code coverage analysis?

I'm working on several applications, mainly legacy ones. Currently, their code coverage is quite low: generally between 10 and 50%. Since several weeks, we have recurrent discussions with the ...
4
votes
4answers
857 views

Reusable VS clean code - where's the balance?

Let's say I have a data model for a blog posts and have two use-cases of that model - getting all blogposts and getting only blogposts which were written by specific author. There are basically two ...
25
votes
8answers
2k views

How to justify rewriting/revamping legacy software in a business case? [duplicate]

I work for a great little software company which makes good revenue from our main software package. The problem for me is that it's almost unmaintainable. It's written in Delphi 7 (has upgraded ...
4
votes
2answers
377 views

What should my “large codebase sample” look like? [closed]

If an employer asks for a large code sample, one for an entire project, what characteristics should the project have to show architectural skills and the ability to manage a large codebase? For ...
8
votes
7answers
1k views

Why would an employer ask for a 'long' code sample? [closed]

What would a large project that spanned multiple files and >1000 lines show to an employer that a few individual files and a couple hundred lines couldn't capture?
6
votes
2answers
3k views

What is logical cohesion, and why is it bad or undesirable?

From the c2wiki page on coupling & cohesion: Cohesion (interdependency within module) strength/level names : (from worse to better, high cohesion is good) Coincidental Cohesion : ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How is technical debt best measured? What metric(s) are most useful? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can I quantify the amount of technical debt that exists in a project? If I wanted to help a customer understand the degree of technical debt in his application, what ...
8
votes
8answers
1k views

Copy-and-Pasted Test Code: How Bad is This?

My current job is mostly writing GUI test code for various applications that we work on. However, I find that I tend to copy and paste a lot of code within tests. The reason for this is that the areas ...
26
votes
9answers
3k views

Simple vs Complex (but performance efficient) solution - which one to choose and when?

I have been programming for a couple of years and have often found myself at a dilemma. There are two solutions - one is simple one i.e. simple approach, easier to understand and maintain. It ...
6
votes
4answers
974 views

Method flags as arguments or as member variables?

I think the title "Method flags as arguments or as member variables?" may be suboptimal, but as I'm missing any better terminology atm., here goes: I'm currently trying to get my head around the ...
54
votes
12answers
3k views

Getting out of my head

I've spent the last year as a one-man team developing a rich-client application (35,000+ LoC, for what it's worth). It's currently stable and in production. However, I know that my skills were rusty ...
2
votes
1answer
914 views

Code Measuring and Metrics Tools? [duplicate]

I'm in the process of setting up a build server for personal projects. This server will handle all the normal CI stuff, including running large suites of tests (unit, integration, automated UI). ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

What defines code readability? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How would you know if you've written readable and easily maintainable code? It is often said that readability is perhaps the most important quality-defining measure ...
117
votes
11answers
44k views

Why is Clean Code suggesting avoiding protected variables?

Clean Code suggests avoiding protected variables in the "Vertical Distance" section of the "Formatting" chapter: Concepts that are closely related should be kept vertically close to each other. ...
11
votes
9answers
1k views

Should a programmer take writing lessons to enhance code expressiveness?

Given that programmers are authors and write code to express abstract thoughts and concepts, and good code should be read by other programmers without difficulties and misunderstandings, should a ...
6
votes
1answer
463 views

What are the practical examples of code exploration techniques?

Code Exploration (CE) is quite a new term and I wonder if there already any successful examples of implementing this techniques in terms of Continuous Integration principles? In short, Code ...
5
votes
3answers
960 views

Is it easier to write robust code in compiled, strictly-typed languages? [closed]

I'd like to read the opinion of experts on whether compiled, strictly-typed languages help programmers write robust code easier, having their backs, checking for type mismatches, and in general, ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference (if any) between (null != $object) and ($object != null) when using PHP?

I am used to Java and therefore always think conditions are interpreted from left to right, i.e. there is a vital difference in null != $obj and $obj != null Now this seems not to be the case with ...
3
votes
3answers
576 views

Is there a limit on how many global consts are used before an application is considered bad programming?

Basically, I develop websites, some large with many crud operations, etc... However I've gotten into the habit of storing re-usable data as a constant in my PHP applications I currently have 44 ...
9
votes
2answers
858 views

Unit Testing: “It's a code smell if you're refactoring and there are no collaborators”?

I'm reading The Art of Unit Testing by Roy Osherove. I'm at section 7.2 Writing maintainable tests where the author has this note about code smell: NOTE: When you refactor internal state to be ...
14
votes
11answers
16k views

Why is using System.out.println() so bad? [closed]

Of course, it is very good use to use a logging framework for the error messages or warnings. But sometimes I use System.out.println() if I want to try something new in a short time. Is it really so ...
1
vote
1answer
194 views

Condition based function declarations

I recently came across a weird piece of code if(foo == bar){ function foo_bar(){ // Function definition } } Is this a good practice of coding ?
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it OK for a function to modify a parameter

We have a data layer that wraps Linq To SQL. In this datalayer we have this method (simplified) int InsertReport(Report report) { db.Reports.InsertOnSubmit(report); db.SubmitChanges(); ...
4
votes
3answers
435 views

how do I know I've split my program into too small pieces?

Ever since entering the world of programming, I've been bombed with tips like "file should be only x lines", which is fair since new programmers tend to stuff everything into one file. But, having ...
10
votes
5answers
523 views

Methods for testing a very large application

I have a PHP app which is very large. There are usually 2-3 developers working on it full time and we are getting to the point where we are making changes and creating bugs (cough features!). The ...