PHP Basics — 5 Reasons We Need Coding Standards
The entire codebase is formatted the same
You decide to open Git one day and pull some code, as you do you notice that a colleague has made some changes to the file… you are getting a little bit confused, the brackets are all over the place, naming is either in kebab-case, snake_case, camelCase… functions are all over the place, nothing is as it should be.
While your colleague only made a minor change for him, you are now a sitting duck, trying to understand what is going on and this keeps wasting time.
Reduces the cognitive load from the programmers
Just like the problem from before, you are always coming to file formatted in another way and another way and so on. Instead of spending your time doing what you like, now you have to try to understand what is going on and make sense of what changed.
Even if the changes were not big or critical, your way of thinking about the code and structure were disrupted, and with standards we are trying to avoid this disruption.
Can more easily ask for help online
I think some of us know how is to go on a forum like StackOverflow and ask for help just to get comments on how your code is unreadable and people can barely understand what is going on.
To avoid this, we should always use the industry standards for the programming language we are using. We do not want to be the outlier that is trying something and spending time always explaining it to people when instead we can write something the entire ecosystem can understand and more easily give help when needed.
You are following industry standards
Just as stated above, following industry standards is a must when coding. This may not always be optimal you may think and it’s true, not every standard is perfect, but nothing is in this world. There are thousands of ways of doing things.
It is important that we all agree on some standards so the programming ecosystem we are part of can flourish, not be in a constant struggle without following standardized rules.
Code is more maintainable
Now that you are using standardized rules and following the industry code standards, your code becomes more maintainable just by doing this. A lot more people before us had the same problems we have today and may have come up with ideas and plans on how to write code to avoid it getting tangled, hard to test and whatnot.
It’s easier to work in the same project with colleagues using the same standards, it’s easier to test, read and juggle with code like this while at the same time helping each other on common ground can improve growth between each other.