For a code to be readable means that, it should be understandable to humans as well, along with computers. Sure, it will be a computer which will execute your code, but in the end, it will always be a human who'll manage it. So make sure that you write code which is understandable to other people in your team. Even if you prefer working solo, do care about readability. Believe me! Your future self would thank you for doing so.
So, how do we make our code more readable? Well, here we go.
- Always use comments
- Follow a consistent coding style
- Give meaningful variable names
- Do not repeat yourself
- Refactor your code often
It is useful to use them to explain complex code. They will help you and others understand why you did what you did. But, there is a fine line between helpful comments and redundant ones. So, have an understanding of what needs comments and what doesn't.
Have a consistent coding style all across your codebase. Inconsistencies often create confusion. Leave the same amount of space every time, create every block in the same pattern. If you start working on code that was written by someone else, follow the same style.
Always name your variables in context to what they represent. It makes the working of the code easier to understand. A friendly tip, when naming booleans, name them as a verb.
What it means is, "Don't Repeat Yourself". If you have snippets that repeat itself in your code, create a function for those snippets. It facilitates both readability and debugging.
Refactoring is improving the internal structure of an existing source code while preserving its functionality. Codebases grow. As a simple class gets more responsibility, it grows in size and complexity. They can stay readable only through continuous refactoring. The new, complex class might be broken into multiple parts or changed other ways to stay easy to read.
What is your idea about code readability? Do share your thoughts in the comments.