Why Use a Coding Style Guide

What is a coding style? It is the way your code looks. The way you learned how to code, the tools and languages that influenced your personal style. Your style is influence by the many decisions that you make while writing code. If you work on a team, the team has its own standards that also influence how you write code.

Why Use a Coding Style Guide
Lubos Houska from Pixabay

Code is the way you communicate with other developers. To make sure that your code is understandable to other, you need to focus on writing code that is consistent and readable.

How do you make your code understandable?


Pick a way of writing and organizing your code. You’ll want to decide:

  • Tabs or spaces for indentation
  • A naming convention for variables and functions
  • How much white space you are going to use

If you have trouble deciding, look at coding style guides for suggestions.

Python Coding Style Guide


Code is written for both computers and people to read. You want your code to communicate what it does. Remember, you won’t always be the person maintaining your code. You want your code to be readable and maintainable by your future self or another developer.

What can you do to make your code readable?

  • Pick a coding style guide for the language that you are using and follow it. By following it, you can focus on writing the code not formatting it.
  • Use meaningful naming conventions and comments. Check out How to Comment Your Code like a Pro.
  • Format and layout your code with white space.
  • Use tools to help manage your code. Tools like JSHint, Prettier, or W3C Validator

Whether you are working alone or on a team, using a coding style guide can help you be more productive as a developer. Remember, you aren’t writing code for the computer but for yourself and others.