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Aravind Venkatesan
Aravind Venkatesan

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7 Mindful Tips For Writing Clean Code

Writing clean and maintainable code is essential for every single developer, whether they're just starting or have many years of experience.

Psstt… It’s hard to train AI bots to do mindful coding but not for humans like you and me !!! 🤖🤖🤖

Clean code improves readability, scalability, and maintainability, making it easier to work with. In this short article, let’s quickly explore some of the important practical tips to improve the quality of your overall project.

Tip 1 - Keep it Simple Stupid 😀

“Keeping it simple” is the single motto that every single developer should have in mind when they start to think about something.

The systems may be complex, frameworks may be gigantic but keeping the code simple at every level, helps the project to scale faster and makes the delivery more efficient.

Keeping it simple doesn’t mean NO BUGS. People write bugs most of the time, it is just that they are not aware of it.

Setting simple goals and outcomes for every task in your project and keeping the coding principles/guidelines consistent across the codebase will force the contributors in your team to write the desired code.

By reducing complexity it makes our life a lot easier.

Tip 2 - Don’t reinvent the wheel 🛞

Most of the developers that I work with always fall into this cycle. They want to build every single system, every minute feature from scratch. It may be good for your learning journey but it is not a really good practice when you want to build a working product. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.

Example: Let’s say you want to write a program to convert your local time to UTC. It is better to use the available methods in your programming language libraries (frameworks) instead of writing your conversion logic.

This saves your time + makes your code less error-prone as well.

Tip 3 - Meaningful Variable Names 🎯

Choose variable names that accurately describe their purpose, avoiding cryptic abbreviations or single-letter names.

As Robert C. Martin said,

"The ratio of time spent reading (code) versus writing is well over 10 to 1."

Tip 4 - Modularization 🗃️

Break down your code into smaller, reusable functions or classes to promote reusability and simplify debugging.

Always follow the DRY method. Don’t Repeat Yourself. Make sure you write the code modular and reuse it when necessary. While performing code reviews try to institute the same habits across your team members.

This habit is highly effective and the effect will compound as the codebase matures by saving a lot of time and effort spent on the maintenance.

Tip 5 - Error Handling ❌✅

Implement r*obust error-handling mechanisms* in your code to handle exceptions gracefully and provide meaningful error messages.

I cannot stress this rule enough.

We may have urgent deadlines to complete the project. We may be providing support for multiple stakeholders at once within our software org.

But just step back, pause, and think for a moment.

Proper error handling will save a lot of time in debugging those weird, unknown issues. This habit will save you from the tiring on-call that lasts for hours with your whole war room squad, and finally to figure out that some config was not turned on!

Tip 6 - Mindful Refactoring 🏗️

Regularly refactor your code to eliminate duplication, improve readability, and maintain consistency.

Try to follow the Boy Scout Rule, which means, leave the place better than you found it. Instilling this practice across your software team will improve the code quality and less maintenance overhead during tough times.

Also, be very mindful when performing refactoring because you have no idea what your code is capable of doing when it has an organization-wide usage.

Remember, "Refactoring always comes with a cost."

Tip 7 - Observability as a practice 🕵🏼‍♂️

Observability in software engineering refers to the ability to understand the internal state of a system by examining its outputs or external behavior. This includes monitoring, logging, and tracing.

While working on your piece of task you may never think about observability. There is a high chance you may never even implement observability in your project. Please stop developing more features just right now and focus on adopting some basic observability tools available today.

This habit is also called predictive maintenance → which simply translates to faster debugging and troubleshooting of your code which resolves a lot of issues before the end user can spot it.


  1. Clean Code Book - By Robert C. Martin

  2. The Art Of Clean Code Book - By Christian Mayer

  3. Best Website To Learn About Refactoring

This article was originally published here.

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Top comments (2)

palharez profile image

Nice tips

fisayodoris profile image

Thanks for sharing this