26.7.2023

Variable Naming Conventions

A Witty Survival Guide for Developers

Variable Naming Conventions

In the vast realm of programming, naming variables holds the key to readable and organized code, facilitating collaboration among developers. But let's face it, finding the perfect variable name can be as essential as it is annoying.

Now, before you hastily dismiss this article as aimless or superficial, rest assured! We've delved deep into the coding abyss, scoured countless posts, and condensed all our variable-naming wisdom into this witty guide .

First things first, let us share a well-known secret about web and software development - developers are experts at winging it!

When finding conventions and guidelines for naming those elusive program heartsvariablesyou’ll stumble upon many suggestions. But when you’re knee-deep in code, grappling with the millionth variable of the day, none of them seem to offer solace. Cue the blank stare at the screen .

Trust us, we feel your pain and frustration as if they were our own because, well, they often are.

So, roll up your sleeves, our coding comrades, as we embark on a journey to uncover some guiding principles for naming variables . We’ll present the most annoyingly simplistic advice but spice it up so you don’t feel like quitting.

N繳mero 1: Be descriptive and clear.

In other words, follow the yellow brick road of functional naming. Choose names that reflect the role or intent of the variable in your code. Steer clear of generic names like “temp” or “x” that offer no clues about their purpose.

Example:
Bad : var1, temp, xyz
Good : customerName, numberOfItems, totalPrice

N繳mero 2: Use a delimiting convention for multi-word variable names.

Since whitespace is a no-no within variables, various naming conventions exist. The popular choices are camelCase (each word, except the first, starts with an uppercase letter) and snake_case (words are separated by underscores). Choose the convention that matches your coding style or settle on one with your team and stick to it faithfully.

Example:
snake_case : first_name, is_user_logged_in
camelCase : firstName, isUserLoggedIn

N繳mero 3: Follow language-specific conventions.

Brace yourself for this mind-blowing revelation: every programming language has its own set of naming conventions. And to make things even more exciting (or frustrating, depending on how you look at it), some languages even have different conventions for different types of variables. For example, constants may appear in a codebase in CAPITAL_LETTERS_WITH_UNDERSCORES, like a boss. So, if you don’t want to end up in a maze of confusion, it’s smart to get cozy with the established norms in your chosen language or framework. Look out for the languages or librarys official style guide that explicitly explains the conventions.

Example:
Python (snake_case ): my_variable_name
JavaScript (camelCase ): myVariableName

N繳mero 4: Avoid abbreviations and acronyms.

While brevity may be tempting, let’s not sacrifice clarity. Abbreviations and acronyms can confuse not only fellow developers but even our future selves.

Example:
Bad : numItms, custAddr, t, sAge
Good : numberOfItems, customerAddress, time, studentAge

N繳mero 5: Be consistent.

By now, you’ve probably caught on, but let’s hammer it home. Consistency throughout your codebase is vital! Stick to your chosen convention; it’ll make maintenance a breeze and help others understand and contribute to your code.

Example:
Did you opt for camelCase? Then why is this variable called total_price? Spot the odd one out! -5 points for Gryffindor!

N繳mero 6: Beware of reserved words/keywords.

Keywords hold a special place in programming languages. Avoid using them as variable names to prevent errors and confusion. Trust us, dealing with bugs after a long day of coding is not a party, so it’s best to steer clear of introducing trouble into your codebase. Instead, familiarize yourself with the list of keywords in your chosen language and revisit guideline n繳mero 1.

Example (JavaScript): function is a reserved word

Bad : const function = () => {}
Good : const getWidth = () => {}

Group of students celebrating

Still with us? Congratulations , youve made it to the finish lines of this post!

To sum it up, naming variables is an art 劾抽 a skill we never thought we’d have to master. But here we are, learning the importance of choosing good names with a touch of humor. It requires thoughtful consideration and experience from those less-than-ideal practices.

So, revisit this guide as often as needed and put it into practice until it becomes second nature. And if it still feels like an uphill battle, don’t despair! Save this post and return to it whenever you need a helping hand.

Remember, were all on this coding journey together. Happy coding 領!

Images by Pexels and Canva.
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