Coding standards are a set of guidelines and best practices that software developers follow while writing code. These standards help ensure the code is consistent, reliable, and easy to maintain.
In previous articles, we discussed what coding standards are, as well as how to implement them in your organization. Today, we’ll discuss why enforcing coding standards can accelerate development, make your team more efficient, and give you a competitive edge.
The resistance to coding standards
Despite coding standards’ importance, some developers are hesitant to follow them. Here are some reasons why certain developers might be reluctant to follow coding standards:
- Time constraints: Developers often feel pressured to deliver projects quickly, making it difficult to take the extra time to adhere to coding standards. Enforcing coding standards can add additional steps to the development workflow.
- Lack of creativity: Most developers enjoy finding new and innovative solutions to problems. Enforcing strict coding standards can restrict their creativity and make them feel constrained in their work.
- Lack of buy-in:: Developers may feel they were not involved in the coding standards’ decision-making process. This lack of consideration for their input can lead to no buy-in from developers and make it more difficult to enforce the coding standards.
- Fear of change: Enforcing coding standards can require changes to how developers work, and they might resist. Developers may fear these changes will negatively impact their productivity or make it more challenging to do their job.
- Inconsistency: Enforcing coding standards can be complex if you are not applying them consistently. If developers see that others are not following the standards, they may feel that the coding standards are not important.
It’s important for your team to understand the importance of coding standards and for your organization to give the necessary training and support.
7 ways enforcing coding standards can actually accelerate development
Enforcing coding standards is not about controlling developers. It’s about using the power of compliance to improve your delivery speed and your codebase quality. Coding standards provide best practices that allow your team to move faster and more efficiently. Let’s see how.
Better code quality
One of the main reasons enforcing coding standards is so important is that it improves the overall quality of your codebase. By adhering to guidelines, developers can avoid common mistakes and pitfalls that often lead to bugs and other issues.
This results in more reliable code that is easier to maintain and less prone to errors. When code is of higher quality, it becomes easier to work with, leading to a more stable product and a better user experience.
Fewer bugs, errors, rework, and delays
Enforcing coding standards allows your team to avoid common errors early in the development process that could become costly in the long run. This avoids rework and last-minute delays and helps you reduce the introduction of inadvertent technical debt.
Plus, if your codebase consistently follows a coding standard, it’s easier to understand and debug. As such, developers can easily spot errors and fix them quickly. This means less time spent on bug fixes and more time developing new features that can provide value to your customers.
Streamlined code reviews
Code reviews are an essential part of the software development process. With code reviews, your team can find issues early on, share knowledge, distribute ownership, and standardize development practices, among many other benefits.
Enforcing coding standards can streamline the code review process by guaranteeing that all code follows the same guidelines and best practices. This makes it easier for reviewers to identify issues and suggest improvements, reducing the time spent on code reviews.
Improved code consistency and scalability
Enforcing coding standards ensures that the code is consistent throughout the project. This means that no matter who works on a particular piece of code, they can easily read, understand and maintain it.
Plus, when code follows the same guidelines, it becomes easier to scale and reuse it in other parts of the project or other projects altogether. This, in turn, can save time and resources in the long run.
Improved developer efficiency
Enforcing coding standards can improve developer efficiency by reducing the time and effort required to write, test, and maintain code.
When your entire codebase follows guidelines and best practices, developers spend less time debating how to write code and more time writing it. As a result, your development time will be faster.
Enhanced collaboration and teamwork
Enforcing coding standards promotes collaboration and teamwork among developers. When everyone follows the same guidelines, working together on a codebase becomes easier since everyone is in the same place. This is useful for every team but can be particularly helpful when working on complex projects requiring multiple team members’ contributions.
With coding standards, developers can quickly navigate the codebase, more easily understand each other’s code, and better collaborate on bug fixes and new features. As a result, your team will have faster development times, and it will be more efficient.
Easier onboarding and improved culture
Enforcing coding standards can also make onboarding new team members easier. When everyone follows the same coding standards, new team members can quickly get up to speed and start contributing to the project.
As your team embraces the coding standards, their coding practices will become even more efficient. The culture will naturally move to a place where you build with the future in mind. Future releases become easier with a common foundation and coding standard.
🎥 [Webinar] Compliance matters: Keep your coding standards high across teams and projects
Join André Pires, Product Manager at Codacy, in discussing all about coding standards and how they can help your team improve your code quality and stay compliant with rigorous industry standards.
Join us in our Webinar Compliance matters: Keep your coding standards high across teams and projects. See you there!
👉 When: April 3rd, 2023, 5 pm WEST / 11 am CDT
👉 Where: online – registration needed