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13 Steps to Producing Better Code

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On occasion everyone takes the skill of producing and delivering superior code for granted. With that said, after many internal discussions we at Santex have come up with a quick list of items to support in everyone’s success in the matter.

  1. Ask questions (not doubts) and never make assumptions!
  2. There is no substitute for long term hands on (real world) experience because school only works as a good introduction.
  3. The more you care about your work and the result of it, the better results you will get from your work.
  4. Always Google (in English on the .com site) for a solution because you are not alone in the world and someone else has come across a similar issue before.
  5. Think about the entire picture/project and not just your assigned tasks. Having blinders on will cause your tasks to not integrate as well with everything else and perhaps cause extra work to be done later.
  6. Test your own work a couple times in more browsers than you think the client will use before you say it is done and working.
  7. Read the requirements before you start your work, read them during development and read them at the end of your tasks to confirm it is correct.
  8. Use source control and make backups as often as possible.
  9. Use only one testing instance. More than this wastes space on drives, time figuring out which is correct, time creating/editing/deleting all of them and it creates a nightmare when some have only parts of the system implemented.
  10. Write your code in English, include comments in English throughout your code, declare every variable and reuse code throughout a project to make things more slim and clean.
  11. Never write code or do work that you know will need to be eliminated later. Do it right this time as it saves headache and heartache for everyone involved.
  12. Make sure your and the testing environment are setup to work as close as they can be to the live environment. (in US English and the same versions of Apache, IIS, MySQL, PHP, OpenOffice, ImageMagik, PEAR, SWFTools and so on…)
  13. Never hack the core or modules from a CMS or Framework for any reason.

If you have any feedback feel free to post it in the comments section below.