04May 2022

10 Programming Habits Software Developers Should Adopt

It’s true that anyone can learn to code, but putting together good coding habits takes practice. Programming is one of the most simple vocations to learn without any prior training. However, for completely self-taught software developers, they might acquire undesirable practices that are difficult to break away from.

You may be oblivious to a typical vice until someone points it out. It might render your tasks unfeasible and prevent others from working together with you. There are many software development stacks available nowadays for developers and the following are 10 programming habits that you ought to develop early. It that will ensure your code is always clean and human-readable:

1. You Should Develop a Sense of Abstraction

As a software developer, when you code, it is important to break tasks down into small chunks and implement them one by one. But when we give variable names without sufficient abstraction, for instance, an array index of ‘i’, the variable doesn’t clearly describe its own purpose or function in the task. This can be dangerous because new developers who read your code might not understand what your variable does due to a lack of context.

Consequently, they may end up breaking your entire program by attempting to execute something that circumvents their understanding of how your program works. That’s why you should always try to create clear and concise variable names like ‘counter’ instead of ‘i’. will help new developers get started without any confusion.

2. Write Human-Friendly Code

Remember, as software developers, we are writing not just for computers but also for ourselves in the future. As a result, it’s critical to produce code that is understandable. In reality, programming is similar to composing an excellent poem. The tone should be consistent, the language should be descriptive, and the structure of the text should be effective.

Here are some pointers for producing human-friendly code:

  • Follow consistent naming conventions –  a name should describe its purpose and context without any additional information.
  • Write in a clear voice – you should write your code as if you are instructing someone how to do something, not just giving them instructions on what to do.
  • Use white space effectively – this prevents the reader from having to scroll all over the page or zoom out due to an overly dense block of text.
  • Don’t repeat yourself (DRY) – This is a fundamental principle in programming that helps you avoid code duplication and makes your code more maintainable. In order to adhere to DRY, you should always try to find a single place where you can put a certain task and reference it from there. This way, if you ever need to make a change to that task, you can do it in one place and it will propagate throughout the code.
  • Use functions appropriately – Functions are an important part of programming because they allow you to group related tasks together. When you write a function, you are giving yourself a reusable piece of code that you can call from any point in your program. This way, if you ever need to change the functionality of that task, you can do it in one place and it will take effect wherever the function is called.
  • You shouldn’t hardcode values into your programs – It’s tempting to hardcode certain values into your programs so that you don’t have to worry about them later on. However, this can be very dangerous because if you ever need to change that value, you have to go through the entire program and find every instance where it is used. A better solution would be to use a variable for that value and give it a descriptive name. This will make your code much more flexible and resilient to change.
  • Use flow control regularly – Flow control is a tool that allows you to execute code in your program only if certain conditions for that code are met. It basically acts like an alarm or checkpoint system that stops the program from executing before it reaches the desired outcome. When used correctly, flow control can help you avoid common programming errors and make your code more robust.
  • Comment your code liberally – Comments are important because they allow you to give additional context about the task at hand. They are also a great way to remind yourself what a particular block of code is doing, especially if you haven’t looked at it in a while. 
  • Design for your future self – When you’re writing code, you should think about how it’s going to be structured and how certain functions will operate. However, you also need to consider how that code is going to factor into the future of your program. This way, when a particular line of code needs to be modified or additional tasks need to be added, you will have a clear map of what needs to change and where you need to make those changes.
  • Get familiar with your IDE – An Integrated Development Environment or IDE is basically an application that provides several useful tools for writing code. There are many different IDEs out there, but the most popular ones are Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and NetBeans. Each IDE has its own set of features, but they all generally provide a text editor, a compiler, and a debugger. The best way to become familiar with an IDE is to use it regularly and explore all of its features.
  • Use unit tests – A unit test is a piece of software that allows you to test the functionality of a particular function or method. By writing unit tests for your code, you can be sure that it is working as intended and that any changes you make will not have unintended consequences. There are many different frameworks for writing unit tests, but the most popular one is JUnit. 
  • Use version control – Version control is a system that allows you to track the changes made to your code over time. Most version control systems have a central repository where you can keep your files and they will automatically save every change you make. If anything ever goes wrong, you always have a recent copy of your code that you can go back to.
  • Use meaningful variable names – In programming, it is important to give variables descriptive names that tell the programmer what kind of data they’re storing. If not, the next programmer who comes along might not understand what those variables are being used for and will have a hard time making sense of the codebase. For example, if a variable is called iXl2rU1t3d44m4n5 , then changing its value would be very difficult because there’s no way of knowing what that variable represents. However, if the variable is called age, then changing its value would be much easier because the meaning is immediately clear.
  • Check your code for errors – One of the best ways to become a better programmer is to constantly check your code for errors. This means that software developers should be running your code through a compiler and debugger on a regular basis. By doing this, you will be able to find and fix any bugs before they cause serious problems down the line.
  • Take advantage of libraries – A library is a collection of functions that have been written by other programmers. When you use a library in your code, you don’t have to write the function yourself, which can save you a lot of time and effort. There are thousands of open-source libraries you can use, but the most popular ones are Google’s V8 library (for C++) and Boost (for C++).

Don’t reinvent the wheel – Re-inventing the wheel means trying to write code that has already been written. There is no point in doing this because there is very little chance that your version will be better than the original. If an algorithm exists already, then it’s best just to use it rather than try to write another version yourself.

2. Recognize How Your Code Contributes to the Success of Your Business

Every time software developer writes code, they should be thinking about how it contributes to the overall success of their business. If you’re not able to see that connection or understand its importance, then you’ve chosen the wrong profession.

Recognize How Your Code Contributes to the Success of Your Business

3. Take Advantage of Community Resources

Learning from other software developers is one of the best ways to become a better programmer yourself. There are hundreds of conferences and meetups taking place all over the world every year where you can talk to other developers and learn new things. 

4. Listen More than You Talk

Listen More Than You Talk
Listen More Than You Talk

If you’re in a group of software developers, listen first and then speak. It’s the simplest approach to learning. You need humility to succeed in this job, especially if you believe you’re the brightest personality there. Great developers have the capacity and desire to admit that they don’t know everything.

5. Use TDD

Test-driven development, or TDD for short, is one of the prominent software development methodologies that encourages you to write unit tests before you write the code itself. This helps to ensure that your code is correct from the beginning and that it meets the requirements of the project.

6. Go Beyond Skill to Achieve Expertise

Aiming to become a good programmer is not enough; you want to achieve expertise. But this requires more than just knowing how to code; it also takes constant learning and an ongoing commitment to excellence.

7. Learn at Least One New Programming Language Every Year

It’s impossible to be a great programmer if you only know one language. By learning new programming languages, you will not only be able to improve your skills, but you’ll also become more familiar with different programming paradigms.

8. Get Help from Strangers on the Internet

Get Help from Strangers on the Internet
Get Help from Strangers on the Internet

If you’re stuck on a problem, there’s a good chance that somebody else has already encountered and solved the same issue. The best place to find help is on the internet, where you can find forums, Stack Overflow, and other online resources.

9 . Be Able to Explain What You’re Doing and Why —and Be Able to Do so Quickly and Simply.

As software developers, your job is not just about writing code—you also need to be able to clearly communicate with the rest of the team as well as clients or stakeholders. If you can’t explain what you’ve done or why then there’s no way anyone else will be able to understand it either.

10. Be Passionate about Your Work

 Passionate about Software Development
Be Passionate about Your Work

If you’re not passionate about your work, then you won’t be able to achieve the level of excellence that’s required to be a great programmer. You need to love what you do and be excited to learn new things every day.


These are just a few of the most important programming habits; however, there are many more that software developers should consider adopting. If you consistently use these habits in your programming workflow, it can help to improve your productivity and efficiency as a coder.

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Jamsheer K

Jamsheer K

Jamsheer K, is the Tech Lead at Acodez. With his rich and hands-on experience in various technologies, his writing normally comes from his research and experience in mobile & web application development niche.

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