Become a Clean Code Developer

This blog post is about self development, and how to become a "clean code developer".

Be happy to read this very reflective Advent Calendar post number 6 about how to be a clean code developer. Inpsyder Tobias describes his personal way to clean code.

At the end of each year, I tend to reflect on what I have achieved in the last year, and where I want to go in the next 12 months. And to make a long story short: Regarding my work, the last year was a hell of a ride – in the best possible way it could be. And I want to share part of that story with you.

But let me begin a few years – or decades – earlier…

I think I wrote my first lines of code some 30 years ago on the Commodore 64 that my brother used to own when I was young. I could barely read and write at that time. And although I travelled on a lot of different paths in the meantime, I always came back to writing code – for myself as well as for others. But only recently, I began to understand that there’s far more to software development than just writing code to „make it work“. I began learning about design patterns and software architecture, and started to apply what I learned.

Shortly before I became an Inpsyder earlier this year, some fellow developers pointed me to the book „Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship“ by Robert C. Martin (commonly known as „Uncle Bob“). Clean Code describes best practices and principles of writing good, well-structured, maintainable and easy-to-understand code on the lowest level. And this was a breakthrough for my work as a software developer, and I reached a whole new level when I began to apply these principles to my work.

As you might have already read, I always seek for opportunities for personal development, so I started to ask the question:

What makes a professional software developer?

One of the first resources I found was the website, which is an initiative for more professionalism in software development – something that ticked with me immediately. Based on the principles of Clean Code that I already started to use, I began to learn about virtues and values of professional software developers, and about a grade system that I could follow to implement more and more of the principles of clean code and professional software development into my daily work. And I soon realized that following this path would influence my whole life, and not only my job.

What really resonated with me is that the grade system is not about achievement in the style of grades in martial arts, but more like a circle: When you travelled through all the grades, you finally start over and begin to focus on the principles and practices of the first grade again, to kind of deepen your practice and refocus yourself on the basics again.

I must admit that I have not come as far as I would have liked to on this path. Although I made a whole lot of huge steps forward the last year, and learned a lot, I know that I still only know a tiny little part of the universe that is software development. And following the path of the Clean Code Developer will be a huge step forward for both my skills and my personal development.

So where does all this lead?

Although I’m flattered that you read my story, I don’t want to leave you here, without some kind of conclusion.

I’ve committed myself to start over with the first grade of the Clean Code Developer.

And I want to challenge you to do the same, and make this a part of your job and your daily practice.

So if you would like to start on the same path (or are already following it), comment to let us know. Or if you follow a different path, you may write about that in a comment to share it with others.