Monday, July 6, 2009

Programming Essay

Programming procedures allow programming practices to become standardized. This enables a programmer to quickly come up to speed when troubleshooting and making modifications to an existing application. Programming guidelines should contain scheduling requirements, a quality checklist, and some general design guidelines. The components included in a programming procedure not only enable a programming team to build a more robust application but also save costly maintenance time when the application crashes or has enhancements that need to be incorporated.

Code Standards
Code standards are a critical part of programming, especially when a program is being developed by a team. A variable naming conventions allows variables to be named in a format that is consistent and definitive. The Hungarian variable naming convention consists of small lower-case prefixes added on to a variable name with the first letter of words capitalized.

A naming convention must also be adhered to for controls. By using Hungarian Notation to name controls, a programmer has the ability to standardize the structure, coding style and logic of an application. Below is a sample of the Hungarian Notion used for naming controls.

Indentation guidelines are another important part of code standards. A programmer should use blank lines and Tabs for formatting to enhance readability. Correct indentation for all control structures should be adhered to.

Internal Documentation Requirements are yet another component of code standards. Pseudo code and a testing checklist should be submitted with any application. This will help other programmer quickly come up to speed and will ensure that the testing phase of application development is thorough and successful.

Scheduling Requirements
In order to make our group deadline, each individual must be able to post their parts to the newsgroup two days before the actual deadline. Reason being is so each team members can review the product and revise anything that needs revising. A chosen person can merge all the documents together to make it one seamless product. Each individual who turns in their part must be well documented and must have their resources documented as well. If a team member needs help, then s/he should not be afraid to ask for help. The one thing that each member needs to remember is to turn in their work on time. You can’t expect your team member to pick up your own part. If you can’t do it, let your team member know and ask for help.

QC Checklist
Having others QC the application can provide a number of quality checks. While it may not seem too important to the programmer to do this in a classroom environment, making a program that a total stranger has to read and understand is critical in the real world. First, when choosing a name for a subroutine or function: be descriptive. A person ought to be able to tell by the name what type of processing will take place. A second area of concern is variable naming. Do the variable names reflect the data types they are? For example, is "int" prefixing all integer variables. We will also evaluate the names of variables using the Microsoft naming standards and ease of use of the application. Finally, the program will be checked for inline documentation of each routine or function. What is being called? Who calls it? Who does it call? Is there anything passed to it that should have a certain range of values? By adhering to some simple rules, it will make the project easier to understand and comment on it.

Design Guidelines/Requirements
One of the many documentation that will be required are ANY sources that was used for the design. Other design documentation that will be required is the original design for the final project. Documentation is essential so that when a person wants to rebuild this product, a person can just take a look at the original design and build it from scratch. Another thing you want to document is any revision that was made after the original product was designed. A design is essential because it organizes the thoughts of the group and from there a flow chart could be made. It is easier to create a product from something that is already organized. Meaning that everything that you want a product to do is laid out for a team to work on and create this product. It makes coding so much easier.

The quality control process is an important one in programming. It provides a guideline to create a standardized set of code for applications and programs. This enables others to view and understand what the program is trying to accomplish in the end. Having the Learning Team go through the quality control process will take it to a new appreciation for programming and group projects. It will get the whole group involved in lending a hand to make each weekly project and enjoyable learning experience. All of this will keep the team moving towards its goal of gaining a better understanding of what it takes to create a quality program.

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