5 Ways You Can Reduce the Number of Bugs in Your Code
Bugs are a part of life. Every program has bugs, no matter how well it is designed and written. What really matters is the number of bugs present in your code. If you have a lot, then chances are that you will need to spend more time debugging and fixing them which can be costly for both your business and your clients! So what can we do? Luckily there are 5 ways to reduce the number of bugs in our code so that we don't have as many problems:
1) Create an error-free environment by using a linting tool like JSLint
A linting tool like ESLint will scan the code for errors before it is compiled, saving you time debugging and fixing bugs in your code. It will also enforce common best practice conventions, such as enforcing a maximum line length.
Visual Studio Code has a plugin for ESLint.
Make sure your whole team has the same eslint setup!
2) Keep your code tidy: Prettier
Keeping your code well readable makes it easier to find bugs and makes then harder to slip through in the first place.
Use a tool like prettier to ensure code is always well indented. Having formatting automated ensures you'll never get it wrong.
3) Always test your code and have automated tests
You should never deploy without having thoroughly tested everything. This is the bare minimum.
Ideally you should have unit tests and integration tests set up to cover your entire codebase, and these should be required to pass before one can push to the git repository.
Still, don't get a false sense of security. It is possible to have bugs even though you test your code! It is just that much less likely.
4) Use version control and implement gitflow
The benefits of using version control for coding are manifold and everyone should do so.
Gitflow is a branching model that helps developers to avoid the 'merge hell' scenario. Using gitflow, you'll always be able to merge what's been developed on one branch into another without conflicts.
Conflicts can cause bugs.
5) Automate everything that can be automated
This includes running unit tests, integration tests, and any other automated task that can be done on your codebase.
Automating tasks makes them more consistent and less error-prone as it reduces the chance of human errors like typos or forgetting to run a certain command in the first place.
Most importantly, automate your deploy procedure. You want you deploy procedure the be always exactly the same.
Bugs happen, it's normal. But not doing everything you can to prevent them as much as possible is not smart.
When they do happen however, it's crucial that they can be solved right away. That's why you should use an uptime monitoring service so you're aware as soon a potential problem arises.
Uptime monitors are virtually free and they can save you a lot of business.
If you don't use an uptime monitor yet check out UpTimeLine for a completely free, 30-seconds-to-set-up option.