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Development Techniques

JavaFAQ Home » Java Notes by Fred Swartz Go to all tips in Java Notes by Fred Swartz

Bookmark and Share Beginning programming textbooks usually concentrate on two topics: the programming language and the general ideas the programming language constructs implement. This is good, but there are basic program development techniques that are often not taught, but which make program development much easier, and which are used by professional programmers for maximum effectiveness.

Basic techniques

Every programmer, beginner or more advanced, should use these techniques where possible.
  • Tools - Choose good tools and learn them well.
  • Indentation - Be scrupulous about indentation. See Java Coding Standards.
  • Start - Start with a working program.
  • Small increments - Work in small increments.
  • Pair programming - Work with someone else.

Intermediate techniques

All of the above plus
  • Save your programs -- you may be able to use them as the nucleus for another program.
  • Create you own library. When you write a good general class or method, add it to this library.
  • Refactor (rewrite) parts of a program if you realize there is a better way. A better written program will be less likely to have bugs and will be easier to extend for the next iteration.
  • Use an IDE (Integrated Development Environment), eg, NetBeans, Eclipse, or JBuilder (A Java IDE requires learning, and therefore may not be a good choice for beginning programmers. However, after you are comfortable developing simple Java programs with a text editor and the JDK, the advantages of an IDE for creating user interfaces and debugging can be significant. As with all tools, learn to use it well. Check the menus for options that might be useful.

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