Best Practices for Writing Code Like a Senior Developer

In the ever-evolving world of software development, writing code that stands out as a senior programmer is a valuable skill. There are the best practices that will help you achieve this status and improve the quality of your code:

Finish Before Moving On

It's a common habit in software development to declare a task complete even when there are unresolved issues or shortcuts in the code. However, truly senior programmers ensure that a task is genuinely finished before moving on. They don't accumulate technical debt by leaving loose ends They have the discipline to thoroughly test their code, address all known issues, and follow the coding standards. This practice reduces the risk of introducing bugs and incomplete features into the project.

Enforce Coding Standards

Coding standards refer to a set of guidelines that define how code should be formatted and structured in a project. Senior programmers understand the importance of consistency in code, making it easier for team members to read, understand, and maintain. They enforce these standards, either by using automated tools or by collectively agreeing on coding conventions within the team. This consistency ensures that all code in the project looks and behaves in a predictable manner.

Document Patterns

Coding patterns are best practices and commonly used solutions for specific problems in software development. Senior programmers create documentation that explains the patterns the team has chosen to use. This documentation provides context, examples, and explanations for each pattern. It helps team members understand why a particular pattern was chosen and how to apply it correctly.

Review New Patterns

When a senior programmer suggests or introduces a new coding pattern, they don't implement it in isolation. Instead, they collaborate with their team to discuss the proposed pattern. This collaboration allows other team members to provide feedback, share their insights, and ensure that the chosen pattern aligns with the project's goals and coding standards. It prevents independently introducing patterns that might not fit well.

No Refactoring Tickets

Refactoring is the process of improving code's structure, readability, and maintainability without changing its external behavior. Senior programmers avoid creating separate tasks or tickets just for refactoring. They integrate refactoring efforts into their regular work. Whenever they work on a piece of code, they take the opportunity to refactor it and make improvements. This avoids the need for dedicated refactoring tickets and ensures that code quality remains high.

Code Reviews

Senior developers play a pivotal role in code reviews by providing constructive feedback to their peers. They ensure that the codebase maintains a high standard of quality, adheres to best practices, and fosters a collaborative and learning-oriented environment within the development team.

Architecture and Design

Senior developers actively contribute to discussions on system architecture and design. They offer their expertise to create scalable, efficient, and maintainable software solutions, ensuring that the long-term vision aligns with the project's goals.

Account for Extra Time

When estimating the time required for a task, senior programmers include extra time for potential uncertainty, design meetings, and documentation. This practice acknowledges that software development is not just about writing code. The additional time accounts for unexpected challenges and the effort required to document code changes. It allows for a more accurate estimation of project timelines and ensures that quality is not compromised in the rush to meet deadlines.

Continuous Learning

Senior developers understand the importance of staying up-to-date with the ever-evolving tech landscape. They engage in continuous learning, attending conferences, taking courses, and exploring new technologies to enhance their skills and maintain their proficiency in the field. This commitment to ongoing education keeps them at the forefront of the industry.

By following these detailed practices, senior programmers contribute to higher code quality, improved teamwork, and more successful software projects. They understand that writing code is just one part of a broader software development process.

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