The Importance of TestingNow that you’ve got a good understanding of the nuances of programming and the art of “flow”, you need to set a good foundation for a program. To that end, we’re going to talk about testing. Testing is one of the most important things a programmer can do – it’s essential for minimizing bugs and, at the same time, refining the program. Here’s how you can find ways to test your code and try to make sure that the code you’re writing is as bug-free as it can be:
Expect to catch a ton of bugs – this is one of the main reasons that people think programming is easy. There’s no shortage of bugs, and the costs of them are usually small. They will, however, degrade the quality of your code over time and hurt your product in the long run.
steps to beat beat best programmer/ become a pro in coding
Stop Your Program EarlyFew programmers stop their program before it’s finished. We like to find an answer, solve the problem, and then move on. It’s a good habit to stop while you’re ahead, or something like that.
The problem with this is that you’re giving your program a test before you know exactly what it’s going to run on. You may end up solving that one problem before solving the entire problem. On the other hand, if you find out that the program won’t run on your machine or platform, you’ll have plenty of time to make the corrections.
A good programming trick for this is to create a separate .so file that contains the executable. You can put the program in the directory, and then just install this .so on another machine, and it will run from there.
Identify Bugs EarlySome programmers start hacking on their programs only when they know they need them. They want to ensure that bugs don’t affect the things that matter. Unfortunately, this isn’t how programs work. They’re as complex as the programmers who write them.
Programs grow. It’s almost impossible to write a bug-free program. That’s why it’s important to try your best, and if you can’t, to find the bug sooner rather than later. Try and prevent that.
Another way to find bugs is to look at your code. Many developers spend time tweaking a single line of code, but rarely look at the code on a larger scale. This may be fine, as you should be able to pinpoint the exact bug you’re looking for, but this method may miss other errors that aren’t immediately obvious.
Test the Expected ResultsAny decent programmer, even the best, knows that programming is only a step away from designing something you actually want. A programmer will write code to make the program do what he or she wants it to, but a great programmer will also think deeply about how it will do what he or she wants it to. For example, a great programmer may see a feature on a product, and it may seem trivial to write code to make the product buy things in the future. But a great programmer will think, “I’d like this feature to be completely automatic, so I should be able to plug this into the source code, and it’ll take care of everything!”
The trick is to test the expected results and figure out where the gaps are. It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers.
Test the Provided InputsIf your input is incorrect, then you will encounter a regression. As such, a number of mistakes will appear from time to time, and this will obviously become increasingly annoying over time. With this in mind, it is of utmost importance that you make sure that your input is correct before you actually use the program!
A good way to ensure that you are testing the input is to have a test helper program. You should run this program before and after every step of the program, and during the debugging phase, to verify that you are testing your inputs.
Make it Easier to ReadSometimes you want to read something, but you know it’s going to be a long read. That’s okay, we’re going to make it easy for you to read.
Heading over to other articles on this site, you’ll notice that my writing style is very concise. This is by design, and it’s always something I’ve tried to ensure for my posts. Here’s the secret to having it be good: Don’t drag it out too much. This may mean trimming a sentence, or maybe not using too many adjectives. At first glance, this looks long. Fortunately, there are quite a few parts. Note that the most important parts aren’t in bold. That’s because they are still quite long.
Use the Fewest Possible Lines of CodeThe best programming is easy programming. We’re going to see ways to avoid duplicating code, cut code out, or if we can, code in a more efficient way.
One of the first techniques to avoid code duplication is using the ubiquitous single-quote ("") to indicate a single variable. Instead of having 100 variables, for example, use one variable per line. This will save you from having to write 100 different lines of code just to do the same thing!
Keep Code Decorated with Charts and TablesIt takes a lot of code to make a spreadsheet. A lot of our code probably looks like that! Charts and tables can help keep things visually organized, Never Use the Number 0, This is very important. In any program, at some point, you’re going to have to save a file.
Make it Easier to MaintainWhenever you add something new in a program, it is better to break up the code into small chunks. Smaller chunks are easier to work on and easier to maintain. If you put them into a big chunk, it is going to be harder to maintain, harder to understand and harder to add to.
Make it Easier to Get HelpProgrammers are generally smart people, but sometimes they may make mistakes. They are supposed to make a mistake so they can learn. Not getting help on a project can cost a lot of time, effort and money. If a programmer keeps forgetting to include something, it is probably because they aren’t looking closely enough. If you can get them to look at the code, you can make their lives a lot easier.
Documentation is KeyThe best programmers I have worked with always had fantastic documentation. They were the first one to create documentation, even before talking to a human customer about their requirements. If you don’t document, you are losing the top programmers who will find the necessary details on their own.
You should also put your code in a version control system, so it can be traced back to any mistakes, and also be debugged if there is a problem. Having code that cannot be debugged is a recipe for disaster. Put Separate Files for Known and Unknown Errors You’ll almost always see code snippets with code comments “IF X”, and “IF Y”. A “IF X” is known, because if you find X’s in a file, you know there is a problem somewhere, and you can fix it.
Write Better CommentsThis is a very simple trick that many people don’t know. If you want your code to stand out, write better comments! Usually, people don’t think about this, as they don’t have to write them. However, when you add comments to your code, people are much more likely to read it.
Some people think comments should be short and clear, but others like to explain everything they’re doing. Consider these four guidelines:
Short: There’s a difference between very long comments and short ones. If you can explain every action in a single comment, it’s usually better.
There’s a difference between very long comments and short ones. If you can explain every action in a single comment, it’s usually better. Clear: Each comment should have a specific purpose.
Stay Organized with Naming Conventions Your program will have thousands of lines of code, and that can get pretty confusing for anyone. Every line is carefully designed, but you need to organize it so that it all makes sense. One big step to staying organized is choosing a consistent naming convention.
Even if you have a habit of forgetting which method is called which part of a method, at least you can keep track of which is in a particular function.
Keep Everything SummarizedIt’s easy to forget to test a particular part of a program. This makes it easy to make mistakes, and then to have to learn from your mistakes.
To keep this from happening, keep your code from going off on weird tangents. Write all of your code and portions of code in one place, and then copy and paste into your other places.
Use Loops and Functions instead of Repeating YourselfProgramming is nothing more than solving a series of problems. While this can be boring and tedious to write, it’s the best way to learn. The same is true of programming. For example, imagine you’re creating a game. What would it be like if you had to write all your code from scratch – that is, from beginning to end?
Assuming you’re a novice, this would be extremely time-consuming. What would you have to do? Start by getting an idea of what the gameplay is going to look like, and figure out how to achieve it. Once you’ve finished, you would then have to fix any bugs you discover along the way, and add/delete things you think will make the gameplay better. If you’re a designer, all of this might sound trivial, but just imagine being stuck with that headache for months.
conclusionFirst things first: don’t take these tricks too seriously, this is how you beat a good programmer. If you try to apply them to a scenario where the programmer is strong, they may get really annoyed, so please remember that.
As the name suggests, most of these tricks are tailored towards beating the best programmer at the competition you’re doing, by a single (or a few) tricks. Some of them can, however, be used against other programmers who you do against. Keep that in mind.