Software engineering is the work of creating software, systems and applications. It is a multidisciplinary field which combines aspects of computer science, mathematics, natural language processing and human-computer interaction. In this blog, we are looking at the top 5 software engineering practices in 2022 based on the past trends and the breakthroughs of 2017 and 2018.

Developing software for your customers is not an easy job to do. While each company can choose how to develop software, the entire IT industry still runs on a set of rules. Specific software development methods are available from which IT professionals can choose. 

When you are thinking about developing software, you can either hire an in-house team or go with software development outsourcing. How successful you will be as a software developer depends on multiple factors, but one crucial factor is being able to adapt to new practices.

As a developer, you are supposed to know many techniques instead of a set of a few.

For example- PHP can be a good option for developing one website because it can deliver the project requirements effectively. However, the same may not be true for the next website you have to code.

You may need to use Python or another programming language to meet the project’s needs more effectively. It is important to keep yourself updated about the recent practices in software engineering. because you never know when you may have to use them. 

If you or your company pitches for a project but have not heard of the recent update the client is talking about, you will miss out on that opportunity. Even if you work as a full-time employee, your job is never completely safe. The company will likely find a replacement if you cannot apply a technique tomorrow. 

If you want to keep your job safe or ensure that you keep getting clients, you should keep upskilling yourself but also know the most important practices when it comes to software engineering

Breaking down the best set of practices for software development is extremely difficult as each project and developer is different. But certain practices are essential for both developers and managers. You can use these practices as guidelines that you should follow in your next project. 

Best Software Development Practices

There are five practices that each developer should follow to make sure that the developed software is effective in its application. 

  • Write clear and efficient code

Some software developers try to show their skills by making the code difficult to understand. Writing complex code is relatively easy than writing code which is easy to read. Writing code that is easy to read will make things more difficult for you during the software development phase. 

However, if you can do so, you can easily upgrade or debug the code when you want. You can remember the details about how you wrote the code and what it means, but what if someone else is supposed to be working on it? It makes their life difficult and the process inefficient. Well-written code is easy to read and is divided into different modules.  

If you have some doubts regarding the quality of your code, think about the code in terms of these principles: 

DRY(Don’t Repeat Yourself)- A computer’s memory is perfect. It can remember everything that you store in a code. Unless you delete some line of code by accident, the system will never forget it on its own. Do not create similar code lines when developing software.  It creates problems for the code and you. You wasted time that you could have spent writing new functions on writing duplicate code. To ensure that the code is easy to read, you should not repeat yourself. 

YAGNI (You Aren’t Gonna Need It)- When you are coding, you may think of what you may need in the future or have a lot of in-case scenarios in mind. However, to keep your code simple, you should only include lines of code that you will need. If you include some code thinking about maybe this will be useful sometime, then don’t include it. According to this principle, if you do not need a code right now, you will not need it in the future. Let’s assume you need that piece of code in a future scenario, then you can always update the software. If you write code with scenarios in mind that are unlikely to happen, your app will be complicated and buggy. 

  • Get rid of any lags in the software

The only thing that matters for your audience is the end product. They will be satisfied if the functions are quickly executed in the software. However, it will be considered laggy if functions are slow to be executed in the software. 

Many users will uninstall the software at once and never look back. This is something you do not want from a business perspective. It will not matter if you were able to finish software engineering quickly when the developed software is slow. That’s why kindly ensure that the software is fast and efficient during the development phase. 

  • Testing the code

Every organization does software testing to eliminate any possible bugs. However, how an organization approaches testing has changed. Now, most big companies continuously test the code they have already created. 

They do not wait for the entire software to be developed before starting to remove errors. If you wish to ensure that the code you have created now is usable, you should try to test the code continuously. 

Finding a set of bugs in an already finished code is a very difficult task. That is why you should try to start by the time your code is still more manageable. 

There are a few methods that can help you with continuous testing. 

  • Try to perform automatic testing at regular periods. This provides you with details about the bugs in your potential code, and you can continue to improve the details. 
  • You or your team may be great with software engineering but may not know much about software testing. If others can do it better than you, consider giving them the assignment of removing the bugs in your code. This service is called testing as a service (Taas). 
  • Do not rush into it

When you are working on software engineering as a freelancer or as part of a company, you should have realistic expectations from yourself. That includes knowing how long it will take for you or your team to complete the project. 

Kindly do not lie if you need more time. If you think you need more time, you probably will need more time. This will lead you to either let the customer down later on or tell the customer the truth and risk letting go of the deal. 

What you cannot afford is rushing into the complicated job of software engineering. . if you rush into developing an app, it will be filled with bugs. Sign agreements that give you enough time to develop great software. It will be easy on you, but it will also benefit the client as the app will be extremely smooth to use. 

When you are writing code, you should keep a balance between two factors. Try to keep your code in between these two factors! 

  • Restructure the code

You may have different code scripts that perform similar functions; it can be beneficial to restructure them into a single function. Restructuring the code improves the coding schema without making a single edit in the code’s actual function. Why keep your code spread out when it is saying something similar? Code related to a similar function is arranged together so the software can be more organized. Now, if you need to update a function of the software, you will have to update one function instead of similar functions. Refactoring code can help you make the code more simple. You will need to dedicate some time to refactor your code, but you will gain the benefit once your application is out in the market. 

Conclusion:

When it comes to coding, you should try to keep inventing new techniques that help you. However, the above discusses practices are usually helpful for both the developer and the business. For the developer, it saves their time and ensures they do not have to do one job twice. 

From the business perspective, these practices ensure that the software you release is of top-notch quality. The goal of these five practices is to ensure that your code is easy to read, easy to implement, and easy to use. 

You can apply some of the tips in any coding language or scenario: 

  • Allocate easy-to-understand names to each function, variable, and method. This will give a better structure to your code, make it easy to understand and make it easier to remove errors from the code. 
  • For things to be absolutely clear in the code, you need to stop using all types of short forms.
  • Ensure your code has a consistent format that makes it easier to read. You can use formatting techniques like providing consistent space during or after completing the code. Having a signature format for your code is not necessary but beneficial. For example, if you work in an organization and one day your co-worker has to work on updating the code. If they know that you wrote it, they will be able to understand the code better. Hence, they will be able to make the changes quickly.

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