Reusable code saves time, energy and cost making it vital in software development.
Consider these 4 essential attributes to make your code more reusable:
1 — Modularity
Plan and identify the parts of your software which needs to be divided into chunks. Divide a software system into multiple independent modules and make each class/method do just one thing.
Modularization makes code easy to understand and more maintainable. It allows easy reuse of methods or functions in a program and reduces the need to write repetitively.
Aim for code simplicity so others can easily understand the architecture and identify the components, boundaries, and interfaces which are relevant for code reuse.
2 — High Cohesion
Cohesion is the degree of how two or more systems work together.
The lines of code in a method or function need to work together to create a sense of purpose. Methods and properties of a class must work together to define a class and its purpose. Classes should fit together to create modules that work together to create the architecture of the system.
Keep your code reusable by maintaining high cohesion. This ensures that your code can work and adapt to different environments making it useful across projects.
3 — Loose Coupling
Good software has loose coupling. It means that modules are not strictly bound, can function independently and will not affect one another when errors arise.
Relative to modularization, make a class/method focus on a single function. Have fewer classes which are linked to each another. It will be easier to identify classes and make your code modular with loose couplings.
When your modules are highly coupled, it will be difficult to modify a function and will have the tendency to require a programmer to edit the whole codebase instead of just modifying a single function.
Loose coupling makes your code more portable by allowing it to perform a function without external support. However, software with zero coupling will not function, and those with very low coupling will be difficult to maintain. Keep the balance by coupling modules when it is really necessary.
4 — Test Class/Function
Write a unit test for your classes and make it easy to test your classes. Let each test case method test a single function only. Do not try to test too many different classes at once.
Testing methods/classes will help ensure reusability. To achieve simpler, cleaner, faster implementation, think about the separate sets of preconditions for each function or method being tested.
The ability to reuse makes it easy to build larger systems from smaller components while being able to identify the commonalities of those parts.
Maintaining modularity, high cohesion, loose coupling will help make your code more flexible to adapt to different projects and be easily extended or modified which are all essential for code reuse.
Crafting reusable code is not about developing too generic and monolithic all-rounders. Primarily, you only need to ensure that your code solves the given problem and meets its purpose and user needs.
Focus on what you need to deliver: the functionality and required performance. If you strive to write a simple code unit that is concise, functional and easy to maintain, reusability will naturally come out as a by-product.
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