Importance of Coding Standards in Software Development

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Written By Ray Parker

How often do you implement simple coding standards when you develop software either for private or public use?

Whenever a person starts their business with an aim to achieve the desired objectives, they specify some standards of operating their business in a specific domain of their choice.

Now you might be thinking about what are those standards? And why are they important? Before getting into its importance, understand what they are.

Standards are basically the pre-defined set of rules, methods, and techniques. But in the software development and testing industry, pre-defined programming styles and language are also a part of the business standards, which an organization must observe to achieve the outcomes of their wish and to stand out among the market settings.

Undoubtedly, every industry standardization positively influences businesses. Similarly, the software development industry is also being influenced by standardization but in a good and positive way.

A well-defined set of standards enables the smooth functioning of software programs. When it comes to the standards of coding, it can be understood as a series of processes in a specific programming language, which helps in determining the programming styles, processes, and methods of all aspects of programs written in that language.

Coding is an extremely crucial attribute of software development. Many organizations that do not comply with the coding standards suffer disruptions in their program functioning and then engage code review services to improve the quality of their software products and their functioning.

If an organization has no predefined set of standards on how to write code, then its quality assurance team may be using a method of coding of their own choice, which may lead to face two types of issues:

Issue 1: Safety-related concerns

If the software is inconsistent, contains errors and logic errors, it is vulnerable to attacks. Most of the problems mentioned earlier are caused by the wrong programming code, and the wrong programming code may be caused by bad coding practices.

Issue 2: Performance-related issues and concerns

Incorrect encoding can adversely affect site performance. Performance issues include many things, such as when users interact with the site, server response issues, code reusability, processes, etc.

Guidelines are always important when it comes to any phase of the software development life-cycle. Coding standards are also the coding guideline for the authors.

10 reasons for implementing coding standards in software development

Using Simple Coding Standards in Software Development 2020Let’s delve into the importance of standards for coding:

1. Better and improved efficiency

It is mostly observed in the software development companies that developers are solving the issues that can be avoided or that are not of value solving for the organizations.

But with the help of coding standards in practice, the quality assurance team can detect the errors and bugs early and will be able to focus on the tasks that are of great importance and demand extensive attention. 

2. Ease of code review process

If your organization has a code review process (a process where employees can review each other’s work before they work), then coding standard practices will make your life very easy.

If you do have a code review process but no coding standards, why not consider merging the two and ensure that the code matches the set coding guidelines before passing the review.

3. Minimum risk of project failure

It happens quite a number of times when the efforts of developers did not pay off and the projects failed. But with the implementation, certain coding standards will ensure a significant reduction in the failure of projects and the team’s efforts.

4. Creation of test scripts

Well-documented coding standards will facilitate the creation of “test scripts.”

After checking the source code and testing the application for compliance with coding standards, it adds strong guidance for ensuring software testing fundamentals and the quality of the software product.

5. Least complexity

If the code is complex, it is easy to make mistakes. Coding standards facilitate the development of less complex software programs, thereby reducing errors.

6. No need for extensive communication between a team

Need for intense communication between developers and managers because the implementation of coding standards has made it possible for the programmers to ask as minimum as possible for detailed information on specification documents because default values ​​are specified in coding standards.

7. Ease of maintenance

Using Simple Coding Standards in Software Development 2020When you start sharing code or start reading code shared by others, you start to realize that not everyone writes their own code in their own way.

You will see other ugly coding styles and think that everyone needs to write code in the same style to make it easier for me to understand.

Whereas if an organization follows the coding standards, the code is consistent and easy to maintain.

This is because anyone can understand it and can alter it at any time at their convenience. 

8. The look and feel are important

If the source code is consistent, you can clearly understand how the code fits a large application or the entire company.

Steve Jobs is known for being inherently and internally critical of Apple products. If your beautiful UI work is not based on a potential code foundation, then you can go further.

Rolling out a function without appreciating the function to build it correctly may cause errors in the future. Proper time and attention in the initial development cycle can reduce these errors.

Code creators can easily become champs of writing great code. Just as you appreciate the details of well-designed user interfaces and experiences, you also know the time and effort it takes to build these interfaces correctly.

9. Rectification of errors and omissions

It has been made simple and easy to detect or spot errors in the software if the source code is created and written in a consistent manner. 

10. Affordable and cheap

Coding standards aid in the generation of code that is simple to maintain and execute. Hence, the same modules developed once can be reused, which helps to save development time and cost.

Moreover, even if there is no developer to explain the function it performs, it helps to easily reference the code.

Conclusion: Coding standards in software development

No matter which development language or framework you use when developing any software, achieving code quality in the software development life cycle will provide you with good, robust and seamless software or applications.

With the right implementation of coding standards, organizations can draft and maintain ethical codes that are acceptable and are well-aligned to the business requirements.

The readability and traceability of code would be improved. Software products will not be familiarized with any harmful or dangerous error or bug.

Employees would experience overall business efficiency than ever before. With just implementing a simple set of coding standards you would be able to make your organization stand out from the competition. 

Hence coding standards are not an obstacle you have to jump over. They are there to prevent headaches. If you start using them, it will become a muscle memory without even realizing you are doing it.

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