BaseCode – a field guide to lasting code



Book Description
A field guide containing real-world practices to help you write code that’s less complex and more readable.

I’ve been writing code for 20 years.
During that time I’ve worked on hundreds of projects with dozens of teams. I found the most important quality of lasting code is readability.

When I first started writing code I just wrote code that worked. Who cares as long as it works? Years later, I went to great lengths to ensure my code adhered to all the best practices.

We know our code is too complex. This is easy to realize, but hard to avoid. We’re too quick to dismiss qualities like readability and accept complexity as necessary..

We need to get back to the basics of writing code for other humans. This is the goal of BaseCode.

It’s a field guide, not a book.
BaseCode distills writing readable code into 10 practices and contains over 40 code samples.

These practices focus on:

Writing code that prioritizes readability by:humans, not a computer
Avoiding code rot with analysis and automation
Untangling nested code to improve visual honesty and reduce reader overhead
Introducing objects to encapsulate complexity
Refactoring long blocks of code by:understanding reading levels
Making naming things easy with context and time
Using code as the primary signal, not comments
Avoiding unnecessary code by:using reasonable return values
Delaying the need to remove duplication with the Rule of Three
Improving code flow with symmetry
Deferring design decisions to reduce anxiety when writing code
This isn’t a book, it’s a field guide. BaseCode applies real-world practices to everyday code. There’s no fluff. No theory. I tackle common problems and use code to show solutions.

Each topic is neatly organized into a chapter. If you have a bunch of nested code, read Nested Code. If you want to break up long methods, jump to Big Blocks. You can read it cover to cover or jump around to the practices that interest you.

Introduction:Bootstrap
Chapter 1:Formatting
Chapter 2:Dead code
Chapter 3:Nested code
Chapter 4:Using objects
Chapter 5:Big Blocks
Chapter 6:Naming
Chapter 7:Removing Comments
Chapter 8:Reasonable Returns
Chapter 9:Rule of Three
Chapter 10:Symmetry
Epilogue:Exit


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