Benefits of Code Optimization: 10 Reasons

Benefits of Code Optimization: 10 Reasons

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Guide: Benefits of Code Optimization: 10 Reasons

As we write code, we are constantly making decisions and choosing between solutions that at first glance seem equivalent. This usually turns out later some choices result in a more efficient program than others, so a search for best coding practices and optimization techniques naturally arises, and we start that too see the whole development process as an optimization problem to be solved

While optimization issues aren’t the only ones that developers face on a regular basis, for example, there are also decision issues and search issues, optimization is the task that probably covers the various stages of web development most.

Code optimization can take place at different levels, depending on how close the optimization we perform is to machine code. In web development we can only perform optimizations at a higher level, since assembly or runtime level optimizations are not an option for us, but we still have many options.

We can optimize our code on an architectural level with smart design patterns, at the source code level by leveraging best coding practices and using the right tools, and we can also improve the performance of our team by introduction of coding style guides in our workflow

Whatever technique we choose to go with, there is a rule of thumb that any attempt at code optimization should follow: we should always run the optimization in a way that doesn’t change the meaning of the code

The benefits of code optimization are growing in line with the growth of our project, and like even initially small projects can get big over time, acquiring solid code optimization skills almost always has measurable positive results.

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1. Cleaner code base

As a project ages, and more and more developers are working on it, duplications and overlaps usually appear sooner or later, and suddenly we realize we barely understand what’s going on.

IMAGE: Freepik

It is no coincidence that keeping the DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) principle in mind is one of the cornerstones of effective software development. A well-structured, carefully optimized code base in which we can do that reuse the same elements multiple times is always tighter and neater, and therefore much easier to understand and work with.

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2. Higher consistency

Consistency is like housework, if taken care of properly no one will notice, but if neglected the whole place looks messy and we find ourselves in chaos.

Achieving full consistency is difficult, like ensuring backward compatibility can ultimately hinder improvement, but with attention to using coherent code guidelines, compatible APIs and consistent standards can certainly reduce the pain.

It is especially important to keep in mind the consistency of the code when we are dealing with old code, or in the case of larger projects that many developers are involved

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3. Faster sites

Optimizing code is similar to buying a faster car. As a result, our code executes faster, and our site or application consumes less memory than before. Although the optimization process may require additional time and money, the result is one better experience, not only for developers, but also for end users.

IMAGE: Freepik

Faster code entails shorter page load times also, which is a big deal in both worlds of search engine optimization and conversion marketing. Research says that “nearly half of internet users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to leave a site that hasn’t loaded in 3 seconds,” so speed is clearly not an area we’re safe can ignore.

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4. Better readability of codes

Readability is an important aspect of maintaining code. Sloppy code in ad hoc formatting is difficult to read and therefore difficult to understand, especially for developers new to a project.

IMAGE: Freepik

We can protect ourselves from the pain of dealing with indecipherable code if we apply certain code optimization techniques, such as:

  • using coherent naming conventions with meaningful names, such as BEM
  • consistent formatting with logical use of indentation, white space, and vertical spacing
  • avoiding unnecessary noise, such as obvious comments

This is why large projects, such as WordPress, jQuery and Mootools, have a clear coding style guides every developer involved should follow.

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5. More efficient refactoring

It often happens in web development that we inherit code from someone else and quickly understand that it is far from optimal, either in terms of structure, performance or maintainabilityThe same can happen with our own previous projects that we wrote when we had a lot less programming experience.

In other cases the goals of an otherwise great project change over time, and we must give priority to other things in the application than before.

We talk about refactoring when we change (clean up) existing code to optimize it without changing its functionalities. Refactoring should be done with great care, as if done the wrong way, we can easily end up with a code base that is even less optimal than the original.

Fortunately, we have many well-tested techniques that can make refactoring a smooth-running process.

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6. Easier debugging

Debugging takes up a significant part of the web development workflow, and it is usually a tedious or even daunting task. It’s hard enough when we have to debug our own code, but it is much worse if we have to find the bugs in someone elseespecially if it’s like never sent spaghetti code that only uses functions.

Clever design and architectural patterns, like using objects and different modules, and clear coding guidelines can make the debugging process easier, even if it most likely still won’t be our most loved task.

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7. Improved workflow

Many web development projects are managed by distributed teams, such as open source communities or remote teams. One of the hardest things about managing such a workflow is finding a way that makes communication effective enough allow team members to understand each other easily, and not constantly having to talk about defaults

Agreed based on best practices and style guides can bridge the gap between people of different backgrounds, not to mention the usual communication problems between design and development teams in most web projects.

Code optimization is too workflow optimizationAs if team members speak a common language and share the same set goals, they will also be able to work together without much less hassle.

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8. Easier code maintenance

Although something to build from the ground up up are usually more fun than maintaining pre-existing code, sometimes we still need to do code maintenance. Working with pre-existing systems can also give us new insights about code optimization as it is a different experience than early optimizations in a new project.

IMAGE: Freepik

In software maintenance, we are already at a stage where we can address real performance and efficiency issues and work with real users rather than hypothetical use cases.

Code maintenance usually gets little respect in developer circles, but it can still be a rewarding task if we follow best practices such as reliable version control, dependency management, staging and testing platforms, and correct provide documentation

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9. Faster Feature Development

Constant innovation is the core of staying relevant in our field, as if we haven’t shown anything new to our users in a while, we can quickly fall behind. Extend a project and add new ones features it is usually much faster if we are working with a well optimized, clean code base.

Aside from the code optimization methods already discussed, feature development can also gain momentum if we continue up with modern project management methods, for example if we use iterative life cycle models instead of the traditional waterfall model.

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10. Smaller technical debt

The term “technical debt” was coined by Ward Cunningham, the programmer who also developed the first wiki. It compares the consequences of our bad programming decisions that increase over time to financial debts in which people pay interest in the future to get money quickly in the present.

These non-optimal decisions usually manifest in the form of quick fixes, copy and paste programming, hard coding, freight culture programming, and others coding anti-patterns and sloppy work habits.

It is actually impossible to avoid technical debt completelysince even good decisions can have less desirable consequences in the future, but if we diligently optimize our code, we will certainly burdened with a much smaller technical debt

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