A “Coding note” for your program

During the days of my development work, a question is usually asked by my colleagues and myself, the question is “What are we going to do?”; As a programmer, we should know clear what should do now and next, but the reality is that we usually get lost while we are coding;

To solve the problem of that, I decide to write a “Coding Note” for my program, which guide me and my team what to do when we are developing the program; The following content will describe how to write a coding note;

The structure of a coding note

To build a coding note, the following information need to be think about and be written down;

Name of the program

The name of program is the name which you used to communicate with others;

Requirement

In this part, you are going to write the things required to be done by the program; They can be the functions provided by the program; They can be the UI Layout or UX gestures; They can be improvement of speed or memory usage;

Besides writing the key things to do, try to breakdown the task to be smaller tasks;

Technology

In this part, you should write down the technology will be used by the programs; Think and write these aspects: Language, SDKs, APIs, ….  Once you know which technologies you are using, you can study the related documents and the sample codes related; You can also collect the related resources and forums which help your development later;

Design

After you has known the requirement and technology, you are ready to design; In the coding note, design is the most important and hardest part to write; In this part, you need to write down the idea and concept of your design; You can list out the modules and corresponding functions done by those modules;

Testing

In this part, you should think about how to test the program you are going to make and the unit tests can be done inside your program; If you cannot find ways to test your program, there are somethings wrong, and you need to revise your design and program;

Resources

In this part of the note, it should contain helpful information that help building your programs; For example, the location of the graphics asset used, sample data, the reference site of the API using; You may usually access and update this part through your project;

When to write the coding note

I suggest you should write the coding note once you know the requirements and before you start coding; When you write the coding note, you will have a basic idea about what are the things to be done and how much time you will need; These information is very useful to you and your team; Besides, as early as the note is ready, you have the guide for your coding;

How to write the coding note

Here are the steps:

  • First of all, start with Requirement and Technology, collect and write down the information related to these;
  • Then, work out Design part; Try to make a simple design that can do the requirements first; No need to do everything at the beginning, choose the most important first;
  • Then, think about the Test;
  • Start Coding and Testing;
  • Move to the next requirement, and update Design / Test;
  • Always update Resources when you find some information that is useful to the project;
  • Update Requirement and Technology when there is any change;
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