Make source code live longer

March 10, 2017

It’s not about just making it work, It’s about how long it stays.

When I started writing source code a few years back I had only one focus, get the shit done. After working on building multiple products and features, I realized there is more than getting it just to work and it’s more about how long it stays i.e maintainability. Being a front-end engineer, I have a great taste for user experience and I care a lot about the developer’s experience reading the source code I write, they should be able to understand code easily and should be able to add more functionality without my help.

Code is read more than it is written

There are 2 main things to take care while writing code.

  • Source code should be like a story, anyone who reads it should understand how it flows.
  • And well it should work.

Here are some of my tips for making source code live longer.

  1. Small is the answer! Try to make all the logic into smaller logics. Small function means easier to understand and easier to write tests.
  2. Follow Single responsibility principle, each function should handle only one task.
  3. Source code should be a self-documented. When you write a complex piece of code, you might feels great but you are not really doing a great job, it will make the developers scared to touch this piece of code because they don’t understand what is going on inside and makes it difficult to maintain, so If the code explains itself then it will live longer.
  4. Name your functions and variables well. Don’t worry about how long they are, it only improves the code readability and it shouldn’t affect performance because production javascript codes are usually minified.
  5. Smaller commits with a good message will make sure why a particular functionality was done.

There is nothing as complex logic, It’s all about how you look at it.