Some Best Practices for Developers

This post consists of excerpts from a previous single page for Best Practices.

Apply Critical Thinking

If you are given a direction and the application of that direction does not appear to adequately solve the requirement, investigate other options. As a contractor it is expected to simply follow direction from the customer regardless of the outcome. As a consultant, it is your job to inform your leader or the client when something does not make sense and to provide a solution as part of the information. Anyone can report an issue; a consultant always includes a solution or an approach towards a solution along with the report.

Test Before QA

Always test either before checking in or creating a Pull Request (depending on your SCM process). The tests need to be as close to how the code will function in the real world as possible. Use a VM if that helps.


It is the nature of  many developers to check outside their own work first for the root cause of a n issue. Even when this is the case, simply stating that the issue is elsewhere does not result in resolving the issue in a timely manner. Always provide detailed proof of where the issue is occurring outside of your own work in a manner that is irrefutable by the person(s) that will need to address the issue. If there is any doubt about the cause of the issue, you will be made to provide this proof anyways, so have it as part of your explanation the first time.

Perpetual Student

All developers and managers of developers know that learning for a dev is a continuous process. Here are a few tips on amplifying the value of that process:

  • Research solutions every time. Technology is constantly evolving, and the perfect solution used last time may have been replaced by one that is even better.
  • Save your learning files. For years I used an archive disk and am now starting to use GitHub to save all of my learning projects. When research fails to bring a new solution to light and you knew you had solved it once before, the archive will help. So does blogging 🙂 . At the time you are learning you may think you will remember it forever. If you are continuing to learn, you may not.
  • To be continued…
© Scott S. Nelson

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