Programming Standards | Our Methods & Techniques
The most widely used, and some would argue the most successful method of developing software is known as test driven design. The theory is that the programmer should develop an initial understanding of the project and tasks at hand before beginning to write any code. TTD will usually involve a system for testing the code that is written alongside individual elements of functionality. These tests will simulate the specific actions of the code and see if it functions as intended, for example, adding and subtracting of amounts from client account balances. The test it undergoes will reflect this exact process.
With the tests being design well before the code is even written this ensures that as more and more code is developed it still meets the early specifications. Once the code has been completed and deployed it will be put through rigorous testing frameworks to make sure every element is performing the task required of it. This ensures that the programmers can change and adapt the code to further improve its functionality, before final release.
Importantly it should be remembered that tests are never performed with real world data at this early stage in the software development cycle. Usually, imitation events and mock scenarios will be staged by the developers to support these tasks. This helps to limit the scope of interference from external programs and processes that may be running in a production setting, which would hinder speed of testing.
Testing of this kind is usually used in conjunction with a process known as “pair programming” which is essentially the process of peer review between two programmers. The way it works is that two programmers will be assigned to a project, and they will take turns in producing, and then critiquing the others work. This helps to eliminate errors and also enables software and mobile developers to gain knowledge and insights from fellow industry professionals, thus developing their skills. Pair reviews are very helpful and with this process managed correctly can result in higher quality developed products.
Agile and Waterfall project
Code Libraries, Frameworks and Patterns
Also, it should be noted that teams will often, in a bid to simplify projects, incorporate numerous frameworks and code libraries into the software. Naturally, the process of individually writing the same piece of code repeatedly to manage the same process is extremely labor intensive, and not the best use of a programmer’s time. So, one way to help them focus on the core functionality of the software is to recycle various parts of the code that are used on a regular basis. These code snippets normally control a specific action and reusing code in this way ensures that the app development process is more efficient.
The list of components that could be considered as reusable code is pretty much endless, and development teams will typically compile libraries of frequently used items. These libraries help them to reduce the amount of time spent writing and rewriting code to support simple tasks, like data caching and exception handling. One development team may often reuse another development teams libraries as it doesn’t really matter where they come from as long as they serve the right purpose.
Of course, in many cases the use of a pre-built code is simply not a viable solution to the problem at hand. This requires app developers to develop custom code, before merging the pre-built code with the new custom code to ensure it functions properly. This is the true test of a programmers talent. Note that there are other ways that you can utilize the expertise of other programmers in a team, and that is via the use of software patterns.
In short, a software pattern is a method, which allows senior programmers to spread their knowledge and experience with others. Generally the solution to any problem a developer comes across with code has been experienced and resolved at some point in the past. These solutions are often published online and supported by other experts who support the solutions as legitimate fixes. These are then recorded as a guide for future software developers who may experience these problems during their projects. Software patterns can be applied to a wide range of coding challenges. Here at Red Sky Digital Singapore we will always select the most appropriate technique to address each and every challenge.