Despite the release of Windows 11 back in October 2021, Windows 10 is still the most popular version of the operating system. Although most people will update, many may avoid updating due to software compatibility issues. Therefore, targeting Windows 10 development will currently give you the most extensive customer base, and later on, you can change your development focus to Windows 11.
For top-notch application development, one should adhere to the optimum tools and techniques available. Unfortunately, many programmers are not aware of the best practices of software engineering. This gap in knowledge hinders their current and future developments. Let us review the top 10 things most people don’t know about clean code Windows 10 development.
1. Do computer bugs exist?
If we press a button on a microwave, the TV will not turn on, and vice versa – unless there is something horribly amiss with your wiring – so it is our mistake and not the mistake of the switch we pressed.
Barring physical computer hardware malfunctions, computer bugs, the fault of the computer, do not really exist because a computer is only a collection of switches. A bug is an error in our explanation of the problem to the computer – in essence, we pressed the equivalent of a switch to turn on a microwave when we meant to turn on a TV. Clean code helps us in reducing these human errors, aka bugs.
2. Why is clean coding like painting?
It is easy to find and appreciate a good painting, but it is challenging to paint it. Moreover, tools for amateur and expert painters might be the same, but internal skills make all the difference.
The same is true for clean coding. It is easy to appreciate clean and extendable code, but it requires much effort to produce it. Also, tools available to clean coders are the same: only internal quality control, and determination are different.
3. Is source code an asset or liability?
We regard our source code as an asset, but that might not always be true. For example, many companies with shipped products face all sorts of problems due to their codebase. Some even went out of business due to poor source code.
Thus, a buggy, ambiguous and rigid source code is a liability because it is a nightmare to maintain adding to the overall, less tangible, overheads of retaining commercial competitiveness. A clean, maintainable, and easily extendable source code is an asset.
4. Why should untested code be considered broken?
It is a crime to open a bridge for passengers without sufficient load testing in civil engineering. The same should be valid for software engineering. Code testing and quality control should not be an afterthought but an essential part of the development process.
We should not use untested code in a production environment because it is risky, unprofessional, and inextensible. Instead, we should always assume any untested code is broken – testing then proves otherwise.
5. What is common between clean code and binary search?
In binary search, data reduces to half on every step, which helps quickly search the required piece of information. Also, binary search is only possible on a sorted list of items.
Similarly, we can easily review most modules in well-written clean code by reading their names and going to the next to find what we are looking. Also, a well-written clean code exists in a well-organized structure. Clean code is largely self-documenting. Clean code promotes understanding of the functionality and structure of the program.
6. Who is responsible for your code quality?
Customers might be hungry, but a professional cook will not hand over a half-cooked meal to them. The chef’s duty is straightforward: either produce a high-quality, delicious meal or say: “Sorry, the meal is not ready.”
Unfortunately, developers have a tendency to serve half-baked software due to all kinds of pressure and force majeure. Because only we know that our code is half-baked, we alone are responsible for its quality. Therefore, we should either deliver clean and professional code or say: “Sorry, the code is not ready.” I realize that’s a lot harder in reality.
7. Why is reading a lot of clean code important?
Our brain has a circuit for learning new things by watching others, so reading a lot of clean code is very important to become a clean coder.
The goal is to read highly optimized, well-written clean code. Fortunately, the complete source code of Delphi is available to us. The great thing is that it took nearly three decades for this source code to reach this level of maturity, but we can read, discuss, learn from it to optimize our skills and yes, even critique sections where we feel we might have done something differently. As an additional bonus, many third-party vendors also release complete source code for us to learn from their successes.
8. How can you automate code formatting?
Proper code formatting makes code reading pleasing and finding bugs easier. Unfortunately, many developers either don’t properly format the code or do it occasionally and in an inconsistent manner. This behavior results in a mixed-up code that is difficult to read and comprehend. Using a standardized formatting aids comprehension too since reviewing code which is laid out in a familiar and consistent format removes any barriers to comprehension that can creep in with quirky or unfamiliar ways of laying out the code.
Fortunately, you can fully automate code formatting in Delphi RAD Studio. Just decide upon formatting guidelines with your team or accept the default ones, and you are good to go to set it and forget it.
9. Why should you strive for simpler solutions?
Many new developers devise complex solutions either due to lack of expertise or to prove themselves. These tricky and complicated solutions might do the job at hand, but it will be difficult for future maintainers to understand and modify them.
Due to these issues, complex solutions are less valuable than their simpler counterparts in the long run. Thus we should always strive for straightforward code, and simplifying program logic should be our top priority.
10. Why should your Functions not have any side effects?
A Function’s side effect is a change in the system state that is not obvious to the calling routine. For example, if the Function’s name is GetUserData and it also logs in the user after getting data, it has a side effect. This side effect will make many things complex. For example
- It will have poor readability because it is not doing what its name implies.
- Function users might ignore unexpected behavior.
- It will be challenging to test this Function.
- The tight coupling will reduce future usability. There might be scenarios where we need partial functionality and not the whole.
There is an easy two-step solution to the above problems.
- Have smaller Functions with a single purpose
- Name your Functions well
Are you ready for clean code Windows 10 development?
Now is the right time to start full-throttle clean code Windows 10 development. We are lucky to have highly productive tools for the fastest windows development like Delphi and C++ Builder at our disposal. To jump-start, this journey, download your copy of Delphi RAD studio now.