Category: Coding

5 Tips for Writing Clean and Maintainable Code

As a programmer, writing clean and maintainable code is crucial for the success of any software project. Clean code is easy to understand, modify, and extend, while maintainable code ensures that your code remains error-free and efficient even after many iterations. Here are five tips to help you write clean and maintainable code. 

Use Consistent Naming Conventions 

Using consistent naming conventions throughout your code helps to make it easier to read and understand. Choose a naming convention that works for you and stick with it. For instance, if you use camel case (e.g., myVariable), then use it throughout your codebase. Consistent naming conventions make it easier for other developers to understand your code, even if they have never seen it before. 

Write Self-Documenting Code 

Self-documenting code is code that is easy to read and understand without the need for additional comments or explanations. The key to writing self-documenting code is to use descriptive variable and function names that accurately describe their purpose. Avoid using generic names like ‘temp’ or ‘x’ as they make the code hard to read and understand. Self-documenting code not only makes it easier for other developers to understand your code but also makes it easier for you to understand your code months or years down the line.

Keep Functions and Classes Small 

Keeping your functions and classes small makes your code more modular, which is essential for maintainability. Small functions and classes are easier to test and debug, and it is easier to identify where a problem occurred. Ideally, functions and classes should do one thing only and do it well. If you find yourself writing a function or class that is too large, it may be time to refactor it into smaller, more manageable pieces. 

Comment Your Code Where Necessary 

While self-documenting code is ideal, there are situations where adding comments is necessary. Comments can help explain complex code or provide additional context for future developers. However, avoid over-commenting your code as it can make it harder to read and understand. When writing comments, keep them concise and relevant, and avoid stating the obvious. 

Use Version Control 

Using version control is essential for maintaining clean and maintainable code. Version control allows you to keep track of changes made to your code over time and makes it easy to roll back to previous versions if necessary. Git is the most popular version control system, and it is easy to use and learn. By using version control, you can collaborate with other developers, track bugs, and maintain a history of your codebase. 

In conclusion, writing clean and maintainable code is essential for the success of any software project. Consistent naming conventions, self-documenting code, modular functions, and classes, relevant comments, and version control are five essential tips that can help you achieve this. By following these tips, you can write code that is easy to read, understand, and modify, which will ultimately save you time and money in the long run.

EAN vs. UPC: What’s the Difference and Why it Matters

If you’re involved in the retail industry, you’ve likely heard of both EAN and UPC codes. But what’s the difference between these two codes, and why does it matter? Let’s explore the differences between EAN and UPC codes and why they’re important. 

What Are EAN Codes? 

EAN stands for European Article Number, and these codes are used primarily in Europe and other parts of the world. EAN codes are 13 digits long and are used to uniquely identify products. The first three digits of an EAN code indicate the country where the product was manufactured, while the next nine digits represent the unique product identifier. The final digit is a check digit, which is used to ensure the code was entered correctly. 

What Are UPC Codes? 

UPC stands for Universal Product Code, and these codes are primarily used in the United States and Canada. UPC codes are 12 digits long and are used to identify products at the point of sale. The first six digits of a UPC code represent the manufacturer’s identification number, while the next five digits represent the product identifier. The final digit is also a check digit. 

What’s the Difference Between EAN and UPC Codes? 

The primary difference between EAN and UPC codes is the number of digits. EAN codes are 13 digits long, while UPC codes are 12 digits long. This means that EAN codes can represent a larger number of products than UPC codes. 

Another difference between EAN and UPC codes is the way they’re used. EAN codes are used to identify products worldwide, while UPC codes are primarily used in the United States and Canada. This means that if you’re a manufacturer or retailer selling products globally, you’ll need to use EAN codes, while if you’re selling products only in the United States and Canada, UPC codes will suffice. 

Why Do EAN and UPC Codes Matter? 

EAN and UPC codes are important because they allow retailers and manufacturers to identify products quickly and accurately. This is especially important in large retail settings, where products are constantly being restocked and customers need to find what they’re looking for quickly. In addition, EAN and UPC codes are used in inventory management systems. By scanning the codes at the point of sale, retailers can keep track of which products are selling well and which products are not. This allows them to restock popular products quickly and avoid overstocking items that aren’t selling. 

EAN and UPC codes are also important for e-commerce retailers. By including product codes in their online listings, e-commerce retailers can ensure that customers are purchasing the correct product. This helps to reduce returns and improve customer satisfaction. 


In conclusion, EAN and UPC codes are both used to identify products, but they have some important differences. EAN codes are used primarily in Europe and other parts of the world and are 13 digits long, while UPC codes are used primarily in the United States and Canada and are 12 digits long. Both codes are important for retailers and manufacturers, as they allow for quick and accurate identification of products. Whether you’re a manufacturer, retailer, or e-commerce seller, understanding the differences between EAN and UPC codes is important for ensuring that you’re using the correct codes for your products.

Back To Basics: 5 Tips For Clear, Well-Organized Code

In the world of programming, writing clear and well-organized code is essential. It not only helps developers understand their own code but also makes it easier for others to read and work on. While it may seem like a no-brainer, many developers struggle with writing code that is easy to understand and maintain. In this post, we will discuss five tips for writing clear, well-organized code. 

Follow Naming Conventions 

One of the most important aspects of writing clear code is following naming conventions. Naming conventions refer to the standards used for naming variables, functions, classes, and other programming elements. By following a consistent naming convention, you can make your code more readable and understandable. 

For example, using camel case for naming variables, functions, and class methods is a widely accepted convention in the programming community. Camel case involves using lowercase letters for the first word and capitalizing the first letter of each subsequent word. This convention helps differentiate between words and makes the code easier to read. 

Use Whitespace 

Another critical aspect of writing clear code is the use of whitespace. Whitespace refers to the space between code elements such as functions, statements, and loops. By using whitespace, you can visually separate code elements and make the code more readable. 

For example, adding blank lines between functions and blocks of code can make it easier to differentiate between different parts of the program. Additionally, indenting code can help to visually separate code elements and make the code more readable. 

Keep it Simple 

It’s essential to keep your code as simple as possible. Writing complex code may seem impressive, but it often leads to confusion and bugs. When writing code, focus on the task at hand and keep the code concise and straightforward. 

For example, try to break down complex functions into smaller, more manageable functions. This not only makes the code more readable but also makes it easier to maintain and debug. 

Comment Your Code 

Adding comments to your code can help you and others understand the code more easily. Comments are a form of documentation that explains the purpose and function of different parts of the code. By commenting your code, you can help others understand your code and make it easier to maintain. 

For example, you can add comments that explain the purpose of functions, classes, and variables. Additionally, you can add comments that explain specific sections of code that may be difficult to understand. 

Be Consistent 

Consistency is key when writing clear, well-organized code. Consistency refers to using the same coding standards and practices throughout your codebase. By using a consistent style, you can make your code more readable and easier to maintain. 

For example, if you are using a specific naming convention, be sure to use it consistently throughout your codebase. Additionally, if you are using a particular coding style, such as using braces on the same line as a statement or on the next line, be sure to use it consistently throughout your codebase. 

In conclusion, writing clear, well-organized code is essential for any developer. By following naming conventions, using whitespace, keeping the code simple, commenting your code, and being consistent, you can write code that is easy to understand and maintain. While it may take some extra effort to write clear code, the benefits are worth it in the long run. Not only does it make the code more readable and easier to maintain, but it also makes it easier for others to contribute to the codebase. By following these five tips, you can take your coding skills to the next level and produce high-quality, well-organized code.

5 Tips to Help You Debug Code — The Easy Way

There’s perhaps nothing more frustrating than writing code that doesn’t end up producing the desired result. When that happens, you must go back through your code to find the error and fix it. Visual Studio and other debugging tools can help, but the real solution comes from you. You need to have a plan on how to approach this trying problem whenever bugs get in the way of having flawless code. To help you out, here’s what to do.

Find the Error

While you could go through your code line by line, a debugging tool is key in finding the problem fast. Visual Studio is a popular option, but it’s not the only tool you have at your disposal.

Other code debugging tools include:

  • GDB
  • ReSharper
  • Chrome DevTools
  • PlatformIO
  • Memfault

With your tool of choice at your side, simply put your code into the system and let it reveal the errors. Then, take the time to reflect on why the system generated that error and figure out how to fix it. 

Ask Google

Don’t be afraid to ask Google whenever you don’t immediately recognize the error and understand how to resolve the issue in full. Chances are good that someone has run into the same problem and asked for advice on forums and other online communities.

For the best chance at finding the answers you seek, do a detailed search with all the error data and the name of the programming language you’re using. Then, use only the most recent sources since coding technology can quickly change, making old solutions obsolete.

Talk It Out

Rubber duck debugging is a time-honored tradition in the coding world. This approach allows you to talk through every line of your code, potentially resulting in you gaining a new perspective on the data.

While a rubber duck is the ideal audience for solo programmers, it’s often better to bring in a fellow coder whenever possible. That way, you’ll have a second set of eyes on the problem as you go through your code from start to finish.

Step Away

Sometimes, when you’re too close to the problem, it’s almost impossible to find the right answer. Avoid that by giving yourself permission to walk away when the error starts to feel way too challenging to overcome.  

Go out for a brisk walk in the fresh air, get a cup of coffee, or simply close up shop for the day. When you come back to address the issue, you’ll have a better chance of seeing the issue differently and thinking up lasting solutions.

Squash the Bug

Skip the urge to put a band-aid on the problem just to get the code up and running fast. Instead, aim to fully squash the bug for good, so it doesn’t come back to haunt you.

Otherwise, future changes could bring the bug back, resulting in even more problems with your program. Worse yet, the temporary fix could bring even more bugs to the forefront of your program, resulting in errors and crashes galore.

To avoid that, simply test your code once you’ve enacted a solution for the error at hand. Run tests on each section of your codebase for the best results. Then, fix whatever bugs show up during the tests to create clean code that will withstand the test of time.

Debugging is a part of life when you enter the world of programming. So, create a plan to follow whenever problems arise, and you’ll give yourself the best chance of finding and fixing the problem fast.

Why Code Should Be Beautiful

When you think of beauty, you’re more likely to think of an attractive person or a piece of art. Perhaps it conjures up images of a breathtaking landscape or sunset or another aesthetically-pleasing image. In coding, however, beauty refers to something more simplistic, and it’s an important element of writing clean code.

Code bases can become extremely complex. Google’s Chrome browser runs on 6.7 million lines of code. The Android operating system has more than 12 million lines. Microsoft Windows OS has 50 million lines of code.

When codes get complex, it can be difficult for software engineers to navigate, especially if they weren’t part of the original development team. Beautiful code takes this complexity and makes it simple for others to understand.

Making your code beautiful means:

  • Removing unnecessary code.
  • Eliminating the need for long comments within the code to explain sequences.
  • Avoiding repetition and redundancy.
  • Minimize functionality unless necessary.
  • Limiting functions to a single thing.
  • Using fewer arguments per function.

The Benefits of Beautiful Code

While programs are executed by machines, they have to be read by people. While machines do not care about beauty in code, people do. That’s why the first two principles behind the Python programming language focus on beauty and explicitly.

Engineers will often spend more time understanding what code does than actually writing new code. Using explicit variables, functions, and consistent naming conventions, for example, helps engineers understand code.

Reduces Technical Debt

Writing beautiful code also reduces technical debt.

Technical debt is the cost of additional rework caused by code that is written to solve a challenge without regard for a better approach. For example, a developer may trade speed for quality (or speed for beauty) to speed time to market. However, this “ugly code” may add additional complexity or cause problems elsewhere.

Technical debt can triple the cost of support for products and services while hindering a company’s ability to make changes quickly. Engineers may have to weed through lines of code or artifacts that are unnecessary to find what needs to be fixed. Documentation or comments may be missing to help navigate.

The cost of overcoming technical debt can be significant, both for software developers and customers. If there is a defect, it takes time and money to fix. Beautiful code reduces technical debt, lowering the total cost of ownership (TCO) for maintenance and support.

Increases Software Stability

Beautiful code also provides a greater level of stability in final applications. Code will fit together well and withstand changes more easily. By comparison, poorly-written code or code that is complex can make it difficult to understand the impact of changes and how they might affect other portions of the software, resulting in additional testing and rework.

For example, when functions are written to accomplish multiple things, you might break portions of the code when trying to fix things. Partial changes inside a class or function can create a domino effect that requires additional remediation.

With beautiful code, there is a highly-defined structure and order in the way code is written and laid out.

Limits Re-Use

One of the ways developers streamline the coding process is to reuse components. Beautiful code is clean and allows DevOps teams to plug and play certain code sections. Poorly designed code limits this ability to repurpose, resulting in potentially longer time to market and increasing the possibility of bloated code.

Writing Beautiful Code

One thing to note is that beauty in coding doesn’t always mean simplifying the code to the least number of lines. It means writing code in a way that is the simplest for others to understand.

Unlike beautiful things in life, this may not mean that the code is as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Rather, the beauty lies in the ability of others to understand it and work with it efficiently.

5 Reasons to Learn to Code

In today’s high-tech world, coding is the language that drives almost everything. People use computers to do anything from turning their lights on to parking their cars — that all requires someone who took the time to learn code. So why should you learn to code? 

1. Coding Is About Problem-Solving

Coding teaches you the art of looking at the big picture and then breaking it down into smaller, more manageable bites. This skill set would translate into most areas of your life, which can be full of problems. You could apply it to your finances, for example. Instead of looking at debt as one large number, coding could teach you to break it down and manage each piece as a separate unit. 

2. Coding Can Improve Your Productivity

Learning to code can also change the way you think about things. It teaches you to spot ways to multitask, for example. That may mean you can save time during your day. It will also give you the skill set to automate tasks you use software for, such as spreadsheets. You will be able to spot ways to combine elements and write a script or formula to make it work. 

3. Coding May Give You Job Security

Understanding even basic code could make you the go-to person at work. It also tells your employer that you are smart and resourceful. They will see you are willing to learn new things and might be interested in new opportunities. They might be able to pay you more and internalize some previously outsourced tasks such as webpage administration. 

4. Coding Can Turn Your Ideas Into Apps

You could be the next Steve Jobs, but you’ll never know if you can’t write code. You could turn a great idea into an app that brings in revenue or helps others. By being able to build the app yourself, you also save money and don’t have to share your idea with anyone else. 

5. Because It Is Fun

Coding is art for some. It takes creativity and imagination. It is something you can do in front of the TV the same way your mom used to knit. 

Coding is addictive once you get into it. It is a challenge that people spend years trying to master, and there are always new things to learn. 

Coding teaches you how things work, and that is something you can use in every aspect of your life. 


Staying the Course: 5 Hacks to Keep Going When Learning to Code

The vast world of code can feel daunting at first glance. Then, as you dive into the learning process, things only seem to get worse from there. The problem is that there’s a huge learning curve to get over, threatening to end your coding dreams before you even truly get started. Fortunately, you can ensure you stay the course by using these five hacks to keep going when learning to code.

Clearly Define Your Learning Goals

When first starting to learn how to code, you need a plan. You cannot jump in and learn all the different programming languages at once nor do you need to know them all. Instead, you should reflect on your end goal, and then choose your focus language to start.

If you want to get into web development, for example, focus on Java. Want to make apps instead? Then, Python is the better way to go. Either one will help you develop your foundational skills, making it easier to learn new languages in the future.

Focus on One Tutorial at a Time

Coding tutorials abound online, giving you tons of opportunities to learn without shelling out the big bucks. While it’s nice to have options, the sheer overload of tutorials can prove detrimental to your journey. Decision paralysis often kicks in when presented with too many options, after all.

So, reflect on your goals, pick just one tutorial from the bunch, and focus on it – and it alone – until it’s done. Then, repeat that process until you’ve made your way through enough tutorials to start creating your own projects.

Think It Out with Your Rubber Ducky

Even with the most helpful tutorials on your side, you’re bound to get stuck on a seemingly unsolvable problem. When that happens, you need to bust out your rubber ducky for a nice, relaxing debugging session.

Rubber ducky debugging starts with you telling your newfound friend about your code and what it’s supposed to do. Then, go through your code line by line to explain the process in more detail. By the end, you’ll find where you went wrong, and your ducky can feel good about being such a big help.

Give Yourself Brain Breaks Often

Your brain can only maintain focus for so long before it starts to go on the fritz. To avoid that, you need to take regular brain breaks just like the old days in elementary school. Spending just five to ten minutes doing something else can refresh your mind and ready you for more coding madness.

So, break out the puzzle games, draw a picture, or even just gaze off into the distance. If you can work exercise into the mix, you’ll be even better off. A short walk around the block never fails to feel rejuvenating, especially if a friend can join you.  

Show Off Your Accomplishments

Learning how to code can feel like an endless journey toward more and more difficult problems. To break up the process, you need to show off your accomplishments and get accolades coming your way.

The recognition you receive for your efforts can prove highly motivating, restoring your love for your coding journey. So, sing your own praises far and wide, and then get back to it by selecting your next tutorial.

By fluidly moving through these steps, you can push yourself through the difficult moments as you learn how to code. It’s also helpful to remember that the learning process will get easier as you wrap your mind around each programming language. 

How to Self-Assess Your Coding Journey

While learning how to code, the last thing you want to do is delude yourself. You need to be able to make an honest assessment of your skills, after all. Or you could end up majorly embarrassed upon overstating your abilities to the wrong person. Since that’s definitely not what you want, it’s best to learn how to accurately self-assess your coding journey from the start. Here’s how.

Use HackerRank to Solve Problems

Start by assessing your algorithmic skills using HackerRank by InterviewStreet. This innovative platform rolls out the programming challenges, so you can find out exactly where you’re at in your learning journey.

The system starts by sending out ACM-style problems for you to solve. You’ll then move on to AI, machine learning, and so much more, depending on your skill level. All along the way, the system will provide an objective score and even issue badges for your hard work.

Try to move through as many tests as you can over one weekend to get a baseline score. Then, repeat this process whenever you feel like you’ve gained enough new skills to warrant a retry.

Build a Complete Product with UI

After finishing your weekend of coding tests, move on to creating your very own product with UI. You can focus on creating an app, website, or gaming product. Just be sure to focus on getting it up and running properly – and coded well enough for a non-technical person to understand and use.

Start by planning out your concept on paper. Then, sketch out how you want it to look and function. After that, decide which programming language you want to use to get the job done. From there, you just have to start coding to create the product from start to finish.

Just be sure to keep your rubber ducky handy in case you need help debugging your code. Your ducky will prove invaluable whenever you need to get around challenges standing in your way of a finished product.

Complete a Self-Evaluation on Paper

If you’re satisfied with your results from the prior two steps, go ahead and start completing a self-evaluation assessment on paper. To do that, write out all your skills, certificates, and other achievements, including all products made to completion. Don’t forget to add any relevant job experience as well, so you can get a full look at your coding journey to date.

Once you finish doing that, you’ll have a clear map of your coding journey to review. Think about where you might have gaps in your skills or experience. Compare your journey to the greats in your field.

Where can you improve? Upon answering that question, you’ll have a clear path forward to follow. Repeat this process every time you create a new product, finish a full set of tutorials, or hit any other learning milestones.

By the end of these steps, you’ll have a pretty good idea on where you’re at in your coding journey. With that info in mind, you can decide what you need to learn more about, and then get started on doing more tutorials. 

5 Fundamentals For Becoming A Full Stack Developer

A full-stack developer plays an incredibly important job for any business. These talented professionals can develop both the front end and the back end of software. They can not only program the server but they can also program the browser and databases.

Those interested in pursuing this career path should fully prepare themselves for the challenges they will be called upon to solve. Here are 5 fundamentals to know before diving into the field.

5. Front end languages

To work on the front end of the development of software and apps, you will need to have fluency in common front-end languages. At a minimum, you want to make sure you are familiar with core languages like HyperText Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and Javascript. To build your resume, however, you also want to study and master frontend frameworks like Angular, Vue, and React. 

4. Backend languages

Backend languages are often viewed as more technical and have a greater role in ensuring the programs and software work correctly. The language you will need for a particular project will vary depending on factors such as the operating system you need and whether you want to create a web application or a mobile application. Some of the most common backend languages you want to study include Ruby, Java, Python, and PHP. You also want to learn common frameworks, such as Django and Flask. 

3. Database systems

Database management can also be an important part of being a full-stack developer. Database management can help businesses keep track of data that comes into their organization. It allows businesses to track the data throughout the lifecycle and thereby better understand the customers.

Some basic database management systems you will need to know include MySQL, Microsoft Access, and Oracle. Studying these fundamental systems within database management will help you build your resume within this area of the field.

2. Website architecture

Website architecture describes how a particular website is organized. It explores the hierarchy of the pages within the site and how these different factors impact the experience of the customer as they interact with the site.

To build your core skills in website architecture, you want to understand important user interface elements, how cloud storage works, the domain name system, some core principles of designing websites, and database servers.

1. A stand-out portfolio

At the core, a career as a full stack developer calls for professionals who can manage site and app development from beginning to end. Those hiring in the field want to see how well you can perform in these different areas. They know that earning certificates and degrees matter less than genuine mastery of the different subject areas. 

Therefore, creating a portfolio that demonstrates your skills in the different areas and your understanding of the core principles of software and application design will help to set you apart from the competition. An outstanding portfolio can go a long way in getting you an interview. Many job interviews will also include a technical portion that will have you further demonstrate your skills to the potential employer.

Making the transition to becoming a full-stack developer

Now that you see the major skills involved in full-stack development, it is time to consider how to make the transition personally. Find educational opportunities that will help you earn certifications and fill in gaps in your background knowledge. Focus on learning the core language skills of HTML, CSS, Java, MySQL, and JavaScript. Learning about DOM Manipulation and Object-Oriented Programming in your courses will help you as well. Be ready to then continue learning as you progress through your career.

Becoming a full-stack developer can be an exciting career for many professionals. Focus on these five fundamentals if you want to get started building your resume to transition into the field.