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3 popular C# style guides that will help improve your coding standards

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C# is a popular programming language developed by Microsoft, and you can use it for developing web applications, games, and more. Writing high-quality, readable, and maintainable code in C# is essential for any development team to ensure their code is efficient, effective, and easily maintained. 

 

One way to achieve this is by following a C# style guide, which provides a set of rules and guidelines to help developers write consistent and readable code. Today, we will discuss three popular C# style guides to help your team write better code and improve coding standards.

What are the advantages of code style guides?

When you work in a large team with other developers, everyone will have their style of writing code because no two developers write code the same way. So if you’ve got different developers writing code differently, your codebase will be almost impossible to understand. Also, onboarding new developers might be more challenging, as they won’t know the best approach.

This is where style guides come to the rescue. A code style guide is a set of rules, standards, or best practices that outline how your team should write, format, and organize the source code. In an ideal world, your team’s source code should look like it was written by a single person, even if hundreds of developers collaborated. 

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Being consistent with a style guide makes your code easier to read, debug, and maintain. Adding new features or updating legacy code is also smoother, and new developers have easier integration with the team. In a nutshell, here are some of the advantages of using style guides:

  • Quick readability and understanding of any codebase through familiar formats;
  • Streamlined code creation and maintenance with higher code quality;
  • Straightforward scaling and implementation of automation; and
  • Easier to cope with change, like product ownership transfer, onboarding new people, or code handoffs.

Here are 3 of the most popular style guides for C# that will help your team write code in a consistent way and improve your coding standards. By following these style guides, your team can write code that is easy to read, understand, and maintain, resulting in more efficient development and improved software quality.

Microsoft C# Style Guide

The Microsoft C# Coding Style is divided into the C# identifier naming rules and conventions and the C# coding conventions. Besides creating a consistent look to code, making it easier to write and understand, the guidelines also show general C# best practices.

Google C# Style Guide

The Google C# Style Guide has the complete definition of coding standards used at Google. Since it’s used internally, it makes stylistic choices that conform to other programming languages at Google, such as the Google C++ and Google JavaScript style guides.

This style guide has two parts, one focusing on formatting guidelines and the other focusing on coding rules. It mainly follows Microsoft’s C# naming guidelines, but when Microsoft’s naming guidelines are unspecified (e.g., private and local variables), the rules are taken from the CoreFX C# coding guidelines.

IDesign C# Coding Standard

The IDesign C# Coding Standard was developed by Juval Löwy, the founder of IDesign, in 2003. The guiding principle was that a good standard should be thin on the “why” and detailed on “what.” That way, applying the standard should not require years of experience but simply following the proposed best practices.

With guidelines and best practices, this style guide is one of the most comprehensive coding standards documents for C# developers.

Conclusion

When you work in a large team with other developers, everyone will have their style of writing code because no two developers write code the same way. If you’ve got different developers writing code differently, your codebase will be almost impossible to understand. Also, onboarding new developers might be harder, as they won’t know the best approach to use.

This is where style guides come to the rescue. A style guide is a set of rules developers follow when writing their code to ensure consistency among developers. In this article, we’ve covered 3 C# style guides your team can use in your C# projects.

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