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How Can Developers Integrate Good Coding Practices?

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Coding is the soul of programming. And, to ensure that every code is self-explanatory, optimised, and readable, programmers must be well acquainted with good coding practices. While programming is meant for machines, good coding is meant to be human-readable.

Programming works on the same fundamentals as mathematics does. There are multiple ways to solve a problem and to code, but crisp, clear, universally acknowledged, and right formulas always lead to the right output. There are certain practices in coding that have been widely accepted and are being used as the right approach. These practices give a common ground to all the programmers for writing codes. Good coding practices are not forced, but suggested methods to write easily understandable codes.

Some good coding practices that the community of developers should follow include—

Following naming conventions: Naming conventions are certain rules that are applied while writing codes for programming. They serve multiple purposes such as enhancing clarity and uniformity of the codes and increasing readability for other developers. Features like capitalisation, punctuation, adding identifiers, and symbols come under naming conventions. For example, there are two broad styles of writing code: camel case and snake case. In camel case, a variable name will be written as “variableName” whereas in snake case, the same variable will be written as “variable_name”. Following the same conventions makes the code easier to understand and sets a standard for all the coders working on a project.

Keeping the code simple: to ensure that your code is human-readable, it is essential to keep it as simple as possible. There are times when coders end up deploying complicated logic to complete simple tasks. This not only creates confusion but also makes it really difficult for other developers to understand the code and extract the meaning from the same. Good code is always focussed on a single purpose and nothing else. To integrate this practice, you should start practising and reconsidering your codes time and again. Getting your codes reviewed from someone would give you a different perspective and you could start using much simpler logic behind the same.

Following the ‘DRY’ principle: DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) principle aims at reducing information repetition. It also suggests that your codes must be reusable. A reusable code must be safe, clear, reliable, and secure. The principle states that “Every piece of knowledge must have a single, unambiguous, authoritative representation within a system.” Avoiding lengthy methods, dividing the logic and code into smaller units, and reusing these existing pieces in a different manner helps in following the DRY principle. For example, let’s suppose we had to write 3 functions that have a different set of input and output parameters but uses the same logic or algorithm. Then, instead of rewriting the same algorithm in all three functions, we can move that piece of code to a separate function and include it in all required places.

Coding is more about thinking than writing. People often start deploying their initial ideas without thinking over it. To write easily understandable codes while following good coding practices, it is extremely essential to use logic and break down everything into the simplest form possible.

Representational image.

How Do We Integrate All These Coding Practices? E-learning Is The Solution!

A few programmers undergo years of formal education and still end up writing long, complex, and non-reusable codes. On the other hand, professionals who focus solely on skill development through affordable and accessible online training, know how to write simple, short, and reusable code.

Good programmers are made of 70% practical knowledge and 30% theoretical understanding. Thus, the best way to gain practical skills and integrate good coding practices in coders is to start learning through online training. Where traditional institutes focus much more on the latter, e-learning platforms ensure that you get the opportunity to practice anytime, anywhere, and at your own pace. Apart from being affordable and accessible, online learning is the best solution for integrating good coding practices as –

It lets you choose from various programming training and find out what is best for you – from C, C++, and Java to Kotlin, Elm, Rust, and so on, programming languages have come a long way. Today, there are multiple programming languages which can assist you at different scales to grow as a developer.

Based on your interest, you can enrol into multiple courses on e-learning platforms. While traditional coaching institutes might require you to spend 6 months or a few years to complete such training dedicatedly, online platforms help you to complete the training at your own pace and within a few weeks. Training such as web development, ethical hacking, data science, programming with python, core Java, Android app development, programming with C and C++, and Angular are a few pieces of training that could help you in strengthening your programming concepts and skills while focussing on various good coding practices.

It assists you in upskilling at your own pace – online training let you save your resources, learn new skills, and upskill at your own convenience. Whether you are pursuing graduation, doing a job, or looking for a career change, e-learning is your go-to solution. You don’t have to bear all the traditional training costs such as relocating, travelling every day, and paying for the equipment, software, etc. You get to learn through videos, visual organizers, and practice exercises that help you to learn at your own pace without following a strict study schedule.

Online training lectures are designed keeping all the coding practices in mind. Thus, the instructors try to make sure that you understand all the essential coding practices right at the time of learning. Assessments after every module ensure that you can deploy your learning, learn the required skills through more and more practice, and complete the training to fit into different work industries.

It gives you multiple opportunities to test what you have learnt – programming is something that could never go right at the very first attempt. To integrate good coding practices, you need to be curious, attentive, and logical. Online training allows you to learn to code, practice it on your own, find out the bugs and issues, and then put in all your efforts to rectify them. This would happen initially, however, after intense practice and understanding, you would be able to write more optimal codes at one go.

Online training comes up with hands-on exercises and an industrial project that allows you to implement your learning. The assessments would help you to learn various things such as the use of headers, comments, self-documenting code, style conventions, and a lot more. Solving various quizzes and code challenges could definitely help in your professional growth.

Codes are meant to be read and not just run. Aesthetic website or app can surely attract people but irrelevant information, lack of proper action buttons, and errors would push you back. For every coder, it is essential to keep the coding practices, standards, and principles in mind so that she can use her learning wisely. The more you practice, the less time you would take to write good codes.

Courtesy: Internshala Trainings, a training platform (trainings.internshala.com)

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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