Top 5 Software Development Tricks That Every Programmer Needs To Know

top software development tricks saas programmers

Software development is a fast-growing and promising career path to choose in 2021, as many companies constantly open new positions. Many tech enthusiasts opt for a job in programming because of the job flexibility, fast career climbing and earning potential. However, don’t imagine that writing code is a monotone activity that is repeatable and predictable. 

Working in a bespoke software development company has taught me that developers work in a dynamic environment that requires them to adapt fast and be well prepared for unplanned business changes in ongoing projects. As with any other job, unexpected situations arise during projects, and it is good to have a few tricks up your sleeve that you can use when the timing is right to manage system outages, fix codes fast and simply make your work easier. 

The following are the top 5 software development tricks that every developer must know. 

Choose A Reliable Version Control System 

Whether you develop mobile applications, websites or embedded software, it is vital to always keep your software up-to-date and track code changes. For this, you need a version control system (VSC). Not only does such a system help you streamline the whole development workflow in your IDE, but it is also an essential tool for history code management. This is the place, where you store all your source code to follow the exact code history of the project. Think of it as an indispensable backup system. 

Some of the most widespread VSC software applications are GitHub (Microsoft), GitLab, SVN (Apache Subversion), PerForce, AWS CodeCommit (Amazon), Bitbucket (Atlassian). As most IDEs now have version control systems fully integrated, you don’t have to leave your constantly switch between apps to store code updates. One such example is IntelliJ, where you and your teammates can conveniently collaborate, review code changes when they reach the server and before their integration with other code fragments. 

Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery 

Modern software development heavily relies on process optimisation and task automation. Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery or simply CI/CD encompasses a set of best practices to know that ensures continuous deployment of new software pieces. CI and CD systems automate the execution of specific processes to maintain high product quality, compliance and frequent release. 

For example, there are predefined phases in software development, such as unit testing to test specific system functions. Other daunting tasks if you are a mobile developer and want to release a new app version in AppStore (Apple) or Google Play Store (Android) are that you have to run some tests, compile the app for every country and upload it to each separate server. All these steps are completely automated using pipelines in CI/CS tools such as Jenkins, Travis CI or Circle CI

AI-Assisted Coding 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is currently entering the programming world, and the promise is that it is going to completely disrupt the software development process in the years to come. In June 2021, Microsoft released their new AI code generation tool - GitHub Copilot. Although it is still in technical preview, expectations are that the Copilot supports all kinds of programming languages, including Python, Go, JavaScript or Ruby, and it will be far more than a simple autocomplete tool. Furthermore, using AI suggests that it gets better in time when developers use it. 

Emerged from OpenAI, GitHub Copilot utilises docstrings, function names, comments, and existing code to best calculate and determine the most appropriate next code. Also, the tool doesn’t resemble a search engine to complete your code, but it generates unique ways for you to solve code issues as it was trained on thousands of open source repositories. Of course, there are many other AI code generation tools like GPT-Code-Clippy, Clara-Copilot VSCode or Second Mate. The common fear among developers that AI might eventually steal their jobs is a bit far-fetched as such tools are currently in no position to overtake the development process completely. However, they might help junior devs get their hands on complex projects faster or assist seniors with proof of concept and prototype design. 

When In Doubt, Follow The KISS Rule 

KISS is a popular principle among software engineers, and it stands for Keep in simple stupid or Keep it super simple. Nobody can or wants to handle immense complexity. Not in the field of software, not in any other ​​life area. Complexity kills good software, so it is considered that simplicity is a distinctive feature of good software. However, the concept is easy to understand but sometimes difficult to implement. Simplicity is something that takes a lot of time and experience before you can recognise it and program in such a manner. Still, there are various rules that you can follow. 

One example rule is that functions or methods should have few parameters for them to be comprehensible. For example, in this code snippet "Hello world".includes("Hello"), it is clear what the method includes() does without the need for further documentation and everyone understands why. This is because the method does one thing, and only this, there are no complicated contexts or settings or other arguments that can be passed to the method. 

Naturally, complex business logic will reflect in a complex code library, but if you have the chance, always try to keep your code neat and simple, as this immensely improves maintenance. After all, the famous Conway’s Law postulates that organisations design and produce systems that mimic their own communication system, so try to encourage an open and simple communication style with your teammates. 

Improve Your Debugging Techniques 

Hardly anything is more annoying for software developers than constant code debugging. Not that your code is always sloppy and faulty, but it is rather common for projects to experience delays because of bug fixing. It is just a part of the whole development process, and you’ll have to calmly accept it as what it is and try to become as good as you can to avoid any serious setbacks. 

Chris Castiglione proposes four robust debugging techniques that each aspiring developer needs to master. Among them is the DIV counting method, applied by using the Sublime Text’s “find & replace” command. Another overly popular debugging practice is to get support from the ever-expanding Stackoverflow community and comments. Of course, there are many more debugging methods available such as backtracking, binary search or bug-clustering. You can even choose to go for the scientific method, form a hypothesis and conduct a design, looking for explanations for any occurring bugs. Find a technique that suits you and master it! 

Coding Conclusion For Professional Programmers

These are only a few of the top 5 software development best practices and tricks that every modern developer should know. Once you as a developer incorporate these into your daily work, they will help you get the job done faster and help you produce better results and move faster. Happy coding! 

Aleksandrina Vasileva is a Content Creator at Dreamix, a custom software development company, and is keen оn innovative technological solutions with a positive impact on our world. Her teaching background, mixed with interests in psychology, drives her to share knowledge. She is an avid reader and an enthusiastic blogger, always looking for the next inspiration.

Bootstrap Business Blog Newest Posts From Mike Schiemer, Partners, And News Outlets