Write Sane Software

a checklist

There's a difference between software that works, software that's brilliant, software that's maintainable, and software that's good. This is post that begins to enumerate the kinds of things that you can do as you write software to help make it sane and possibly good.

This isn't about computer science, or really even about engineering principals. We all have a sense of what makes a physical object (furniture, buildings, electronics) feel like they are well made. This is about making software have the same feel, and what you can think about when you're writing code to help give the finished product that feel.

I'll expand on these items later, but as an outline.

  1. Have logging everywhere.
  2. Solid test code that mirrors app functionality.

If you feel like you can safely make a change to the code and be confident that your tests will catch regressions, then you're good, otherwise; write more tests.

  1. Never more hierarchy then you need.
  2. Make the building infrastructure really robust.

5. Have internal abstractions for internal configuration and persistence.

Configuration and data persistence should be encapsulated by some internal interface and the application logic shouldn't depend on the implementations of how the application is configured or how you persist the data.

  1. Consider concurrency when possible.
  2. Don't confuse exceptions and conditions.
  3. Break long sequences of sections into groups of logical operations.
  4. Avoid unnecessarily tangled execution paths.

Please discuss!

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