Coding Standards - the Petty Police of the Programming Planet

21 Sep 2017

At first, ESLint was a big bully. “Excuse me, you need to put a space here.” “WHY AREN’T THE CURLY BRACES LINED UP!??” “Why are you using double quotes instead of single quotes, like who even does that you big loser.” It seemed like no matter what I typed, ESLint would find some miniscule reason to scream at me and clutter my code with red squiggly lines, and it was very, very irritating.

After using ESLint with Intellij for a while, however, I started to see ESLint as less of a big mean bully and more of a naggy, overprotective parent. This was when I realized that as much as it felt like it, ESLint was not there to judge me, nor force me to follow odd rules for no reason. Rather, it was there, just like a naggy overprotective parent, to make me into a refined, cultured, coding-standard-abiding citizen of the real-life software engineering industry world.

There are many heated debates out there about things like whether a curly brace should be at the end of a line, or on its own separate line. Coding standards are here to keep everyone on the same page, so that software engineers can spend their time writing new cutting-edge software rather than having heated debates about curly braces. Not only that, but they keep the peace when software engineers are trying to read each other’s code and collaborate on projects. If everyone followed the same coding standards to keep everything consistent, there would be more productive collaboration and less squinting at your coworker’s messy code trying to decipher it.

Coding standards might seem like petty rules that are there just to irritate you at first, but without them, the software engineering world would be a chaotic place. They are like the laws that hold society together, and the rules your parents make that prevent you from messing up your future in the long run. Most of all, they ensure quality in the software we write. By following coding standards, we not only have ourselves software that works beautifully but looks beautiful as well! So take pride in that green check mark on the top right corner of your screen - the ESLint seal of approval for clean, organized, readable code that has an appearance just as striking as its functionality.