As a developer it seems, you always seem to strive towards producing ever more complicated code. Utilizing new frameworks, adopting an ever evolving “convention before configuration”, pushing object-oriented programming - maybe Domain Driven Development - are practices introduced, refined and explored in the quest to prove yourself as a steadily better developer with rising skills. Yet to what point? While the intricate complications may impress fellow developers, doing so often digs a hole which may be pretty hard to get out of.
Most developers (and certainly professional shops) working with software- or webdevelopment has understood the ideas behind sourcecode version management - no matter if they choose to use cvs, subversion, git or any of the other fine systems available. How developers use these systems, can provide an easy insight into who is the dummy, the average and the great developer. When to commit One of the first distinguishing signs is what they commit - is the version management system used as a backup tool or as a version tracking tool.
So it been awhile since I sort of promised some tips on developing web applications fast. This post contains my five generic tips, which may apply to you (but then again - your mileage may vary). I’ve tried to abstract the advice and not stick to PHP development here, though it’s by far the world I know best. 1. Spend time on the data model Too often a data model is driven by code, not careful thinking, and this often causes problems has the web application develops and expand over time.
It’s always fun to read articles with tips and tricks by other developers and see how they figure “best practices” are handled. Most developers do seem to thing they observations and practices are easily adopted by anyone, and should be accepted without any argumentation or reasoning behind the advice. One of the nice examples of this, was a story called “5 tips and tools to develop php applications fast”, and while it may apply to the web applications developed by the author, it’s one of those where I question who is supposed to be the audience.
I’ve been spending quite some time the past days digging around in old code (3+ years old with no or very little changes). It’s quite fun noticing what efforts pay off and which doesn’t when you go back to make chance to old stuff. I’m sure my observations aren’t generally applicable. We’re web developers and are keeping web platform (several pretty big websites on a common codebase) alive year after year.