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8 Best Practices for Software Engineers

computer code on screen

Software engineers (or developers) have become an integral part of the digital world. They create many solutions such as web applications, games, mobile or desktop apps, robots, networks systems, and operating systems. Anytime you use an internet-powered computer or phone or visit a webpage, you’re using the product of a software engineer’s work.

Like any profession, software engineers also work within some parameters. This article guides you through seven best practices for software engineers.

What Are Software Engineers, and What Are Their Types?

A software engineer is an individual with a background in computer science with knowledge of programming (languages) and engineering principles. They use their training, skills, and knowledge to build software products and web pages, develop computer games, and run network systems.

The world expects a rise of software engineers as more people continue to rely on smart devices. Based on the different engineering roles and demands, there are different types of software engineers. The most popular roles/types are:

  • Full stack engineer (developer)
  • Front-end engineer
  • Back-end engineer
  • Security engineer
  • Software engineer in test (QA engineer)
  • Mobile app developer (iOS, Android)
  • DevOps engineer
  • Data engineer (/ Big Data)
  • Machine learning (ML) engineer

Best Practices for Software Engineers

These best practices are empirically proven approaches that software developers can use to improve their software development skills and outreach to users and users. They include:

Enhance Code Readability

The one rule about coding is to make your code readable, understandable, clean, and modular. This also makes it logically structured to make it more efficient, organized, and reusable. Making a code simple and trimming all the fat out of it may appear like extra effort, but it pays better dividends in the long run.

It will also make the code update, future-proofing, and debugging easier. In general, concise coding is useful to implement in projects. 

Keep Code Efficiency

Optimize your code to work efficiently and execute its function quickly. Writing a code quickly and correctly may be pointless if it ends up as a slow and unstable product. When writing a code, ensure it works efficiently, minimizes its memory footprint, and works with many functions.

This will also ensure that other engineers can work with your code and even improve on it for the software products

Test Often

Writing codes and automating tests when engineering new software is a practice every user-facing platform should carry out. Testing ensures smooth functionality and generates a pleasant user experience (UX). This is important to many users who expect easy navigation, personalization, and adequate engagement. You can even outsource testing on platforms such as GitHub.

Be Descriptive

Every software engineer needs a distinct professional coding style. This often comes by reading more and understanding it better than crafting a concise, functional, and easily understood code. Expert engineers/coders create unstructured code blocks to make them universally understandable by other software engineers.

They achieve this by using descriptive names for variables and functions, avoiding excessive indentation, and implementing modularity in their codes. Good, brief descriptive codes can save hours of a software project.

Use Version Control

Version control is a software engineering model that tracks changes in a code and synchronizes them with a master code/file stored on a remote database or server. Using version control ensures a code’s adaptability and makes it easily editable across your team.

It also ensures that your code is backed up and available in case of a system crash. There’s also a chance that many developers can work with the code independently to edit features or make changes without impacting other team members’ work.

Git is the most popular VCS (Version Control System) currently available. You can use it over the command line or with an intuitive Git client such as Tower, available for Mac and Windows.

Refactor Your Code

Refactoring a code is basically improving its structure without modifying its actual functionality. If the code has multiple blocks that perform similar functions, refactoring them into a single function can improve its structure. Refactoring your code makes it simple.

If you want to change the code’s function, you’ll only update one function and then locate and change several. In the long run, code refactoring will help speed up your software development time and make it smoother. 

Apply the KISS Principle

KISS is an acronym for “keep it simple, stupid,” created by the U.S. Navy in 1960. It means cutting out the excess or unnecessary and making sure your code is less crowded. It’s highly relevant to software engineering as it is to the military.

The keyword is “simple,” which implies keeping your code simple, meaningful, and to the point. Using the KISS principle, your code remains easily maintainable and easy to debug. 

Branch Feature Design

Feature design often causes design and functionality problems. Teams working on the same code’s different features may be forced to figure out changes and bugs that others create. Feature design combines modular functionality and version control for better modern coding.

Designing code features on separate branches and merging them can make the code more compatible with the software engineering larger project. This often helps the software project’s longevity and improves the code’s overall quality.


Thanks to technology development, strong industry demand, and technical expertise, software engineering continues to develop. Every industry needs a skilled software engineer. But along with working within the different industries, every software engineer needs to follow these best practices to support the functionality of their codes.

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