Development Best Practices

image “Best practices” is one of those beloved and hated concepts. There are people who just embrace “best” practices for the sake of their bestness. And there are people who just shun them for the very same reason—those know-it-alls who have opinion on everything and know it better before even learning about it. What’s-best-for-you-is-not-best-for-me kind of people. Neither of approaches is actually, well, best.

For a best practice to be the best for you, you need to understand it, and if you find any pitfalls, improve it.

In two days I’m delivering the NAV Development Best Practices training for a service provider in Norway. They approached me two two months ago and asked if could do something like that. This brought to memory some good posts I made years ago, and here I bring the links. If you want me to share my best practices, this would be my starting point:

  • Code of Coding: emphasizes the need for understanding the effects of a change in code, and making others understand your intention
  • Code of coding 2: Documenting changes: about how to document different kind of changes in code, and also about the level of effect a specific type of change has in the long run
  • Code of coding 3: Die, hard(coding)!: about avoiding embedding output text into code
  • Code of coding 4: Die, hard(coding) 2: about avoiding embedding settings into code, with detailed explanation what exactly is wrong with it, and some good guidelines on how to detect less obvious cases of settings hardcoding
  • NeverENDing story: about a very bad example I once encountered, and how to avoid situations such as that
  • Featuritis Cure: now this one is definitely not a “best practice”, it’s about a situation when a developer pulled a prank on a customer so subtly that I just had to share it with the world. A far better cure for Featuritis (a dangerous and ugly disease indeed) is given by Mark Brummel, in his fantastic post Tip #20 – Save Report Usage. If you aren’t yet following Mark’s blog, now would be a good time to start.

If you are interested in development best practices, check these posts, and if you find them useful, then I’m happy. If you don’t, share your thoughts. Best practices develop over time, improving slowly, and gradually until one day they just become the norm.

Let me know what you think

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