Top 10 Signs That “Code is Clean”

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When conducting performance testing services, testing centers love clean code. Code that is “clean” is simply formatted nicely and easy to read. A lot of new developers will write code that is difficult to read, update, and change because there’s no direction of what the code is doing.

If you’re writing code and the only person to read it, you may not see a need to write clean code.


1. Comments are Robust

Robust commenting is a must because others will read your code, or code may go weeks or years without updating. Clean code has robust comments that allow the code to be self-explanatory.

When comments are robust, it allows others to read your code and makes it clean.


2. Others Can Read the Code

It may be easy to read your own code, but your code needs to be clean and easy for others to read. If others can read your code and understand what it does based on your naming conventions and comments, this is a good sign that readability is good.


3. Problems are Easy to Solve

Problematic code is difficult to read and update, and it is the bane for any coder. The issue with code is that the programmer that originally wrote code will understand the code, but anyone else that aims to update the code will find it difficult to do so.

Clean, proper code will be easy to read and make solving problems easier.

There will always be times when code may be complex and difficult to update, but when code is clean, there are generally fewer problems.


4. Maintenance is Speedy

If maintenance speed is fast, that means that the code is well-documented and easy to read. There will always be times when maintenance takes a lot of time, and there is a code learning curve initially.

Once developers have a better understanding of the code, maintenance is speedy if the code is clean.


5. Descriptive Names are in Use

Descriptive naming conventions can provide guidance on what certain portions of code do. Naming conventions should be descriptive for:

  • Classes
  • Functions
  • Variables

If coding has clean and descriptive naming conventions, it’s a sign that the code is clean to read.


6. Unnecessary Code is Pruned

Code can become obsolete or unnecessary. Perhaps a class is no longer viable and has been phased out of the main program. When the code is no longer used, it’s time to prune the code and make it easier for further developers to update code.

The unnecessary code may be used as a reference in the future, but it should be placed in a repository and not reside in the code.


7. Coding Style is Consistent

Coding style should be consistent across all files and libraries created. If the coding style changes from one file to the next too much, it will be difficult to read the code. Developers should keep their formatting, naming conventions and style consistent for easy readability.


8. Refactoring is a Part of Life

Refactoring is a part of an application’s or website’s lifecycle. Over time, refactoring will be put in place to make bad code readable. Comments are not enough in many respects, so refactoring the code is necessary.

There is also the mindset that with naming conventions, code should be readable even without comments.

If code is refactored, the code should always be better when you’re done refactoring than before you started.


9. Automatic Formatting is in Use

Formatting can be done with capitals and tabs, but automatic formatting has advanced greatly in recent years. Automatic formatting can make coding much easier to read. Several IDEs offer some form of automatic formatting that can make coding easier to read.


10. IDEs are Used Versus Text Editors

IDEs are used heavily by programmers because they’re designed to make code easier to read and write. Some IDEs have autocompletion options and provide coloring for key coding indicators, such as start and end lines for codes.

The editors will also colorize variables and classes to provide a visual cue on what certain parts of source code refer to in colors.

While older coders opted to code in text editors, IDEs provide a substantial update to text editors and naturally make it easier to read and write clean code.

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