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Are Programming Conventions still important?
The job of a computer programmer is to basically write a set of instructions for a computer to execute. The set of instructions is called a computer program. An important skill of a programmer is to write a program in such a way that the instructions are carried out efficiently by the computer, using as little resources as possible. This often generates a program that only the computer and the programmer who wrote it can understand it, and is totally unreadable to ordinary people. And it is often the case that a few months after writing the program, even the author of the program no longer recognizes it. This can become a nightmare, especially when the program consists of several thousands of lines of code, and a little change has to be introduced to fix a bug, or to implement a new feature. But this can be avoided. Programs can be written in such a way that an ordinary human being can easily read and understand what it is supposed to do. This skill of writing a program both for the computer as well as for ordinary humans is achieved by following certain programming conventions
, or guidelines on how a program should be written. These guidelines include such details as naming conventions, indentations, the placement of opening and closing braces, and even putting in comments to explain what each module in the program is supposed to do. A good programmer follows these conventions religiously.
But technology in the field of programming has progressed sufficiently, such that with the use of modern tools, the act of programming is much more visual, and actual writing of code is kept to a minimum. I am now wondering if the use of programming conventions as described above is still considered as good practice. Or is it even relevant, now that programs consist more of design objects, and less of written code. It would be interesting to hear the opinions and experiences of programmers from the old school, as well as from the current generation.