Lots of people argue about the necessity of applying clean code principles and whether spending time on refactoring is an important step of the software development process or just a waste of time.
In this post, I discuss some arguments that discourage spending efforts on cleaning code.
Argument 1 : Writing cleaner classes result in a lot of small classes which makes it harder to see the big picture.
Usually some initial efforts should be exerted to understand and follow the code but do you prefer to read a short cohesive class that is only doing one thing or a mega size class that affects a lot of components and is tightly coupled with different classes ?
Which design would help you find the part you want to change or augment and which design makes code modification and testing easier and faster ?
Argument 2 : Writing cleaner classes usually means writing more code
This is correct because in clean code you :
1- Use more descriptive variable names.
2- Use function and class declarations as a way to add commentary to the code.
3- Ensure SRP, and thus results in a lot of code separation.
But the gains we get are huge.We have a self-documented code that isn’t a source of horror for its maintainers and readers.
Testing would be doable and replacing one part by a newly designed web service for example won’t be a task that requires months of continuous hard work.
Lastly, what is the most frequent part of the coding process ? It is change and thus you need to design and write your code for change.
Argument 3 : Following Clean Code principles often leads to drowning in code design and over-design ?
You can avoid this by following YAGNI (You are not gonna need it) principle.
In simple words,
1- Build the smallest, simplest thing that solves the problem.
2- Improve it.
3- If you found a class/component that gets modified a lot then a redesign/refactoring can be proposed to make changing smoother and easier. By making change easy we refer to OCP principle which simply imply that the design should encourage adding features and doing changes as an extension to the current system not as a modification to the current coded part.
4- Iterate :)
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