Maintainable code

October 27, 2007

Lately I have been working with a lot of source code that was developed by other developers and although some of it was of good quality, other code was of… less quality. As a developer I’m always trying to improve the work I deliver, that’s why I read lots of books and blog posts. Because of reading books like Code Complete, The Pragmatic Programmer, Coder to Developer, etc., I think I have grown an understanding about what good code, read maintainable code, looks like. Developing an application just to implement some functionality is one thing, but doing this in a way in which the application being developed is also easy to maintain in the future, is a whole other thing. When code is written without keeping maintainability in mind, the code really gets hard to… maintain. It will be hard to find the implementation of specific functionality, hard to determine the impact of a modification, etcetera. This can even result in code that no developer dares to touch anymore, afraid of causing a domino effect that will break most of the system’s functionality.

For these reasons, every serious developer should be familiar with writing maintainable code. J. Miller has written some excellent posts, which capture the most important aspects about writing maintainable code, without getting too theoretical. His first post is an introduction on writing maintainable code and his second post is a follow-up on orthogonal code.

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