The Importance of Clean Code

Learn why we need to write clean code with the functional approach.


Why do we care so much about having clean code? What exactly is clean code? We ask these questions when we hear someone talking about clean code, good practices, and conventions. The concept can, in fact, be applied to any programming language but with different implementations.

Clean code is clear, understandable, and maintainable code. Whenever we try to use the idea of clean code, we keep in mind the other people who may need to provide maintenance to the code later. So, we need to consider that if we were the ones maintaining code written by someone who wasn’t around to explain what was going on, how clean and expressive would we want the code to be? It could make a big difference in the amount of time spent on its maintenance.

So, the main reason to have clean code is to detach it from you and give autonomy to others to lead without requiring too much support.

What makes code easy to understand?

There are some aspects of code that make it easy to understand:

  • Clear execution flow: The application’s execution flow is well defined and easy to follow.

  • Collaborative integration: Different contexts within the code work harmoniously to convey a coherent idea.

  • Defined roles and responsibilities: Each context has clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

  • Single responsibility functions: Functions have single responsibilities, making them easy to comprehend.

  • Expressive naming: Expressive naming of expressions, functions, and variables provides meaningful explanations of their purpose and functionality.

All of these things ensure that a code is clean and clear.

Maintenance and extension

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of having organized code to make things easier for maintenance, but another big part of code is how extensible it is, i.e., how easy it is to implement a new feature on it. If the answer is fast and the only challenge is to define the new feature, then that’s perfect, and we have clean code. On the other hand, if to include a new flow, we need to do a great refactor, then we probably don’t have clean code.

Another aspect to keep in mind is that it’s always good to think about possible scenarios of extension from what we’re doing. We’re not saying that we have to stop everything and check every possible feature that could be added, but we should always try to think big and see what could be done in a more generalist way to keep our code easy to extend.

Clean code principles

Focusing on functional programming, let’s take a look at a few principles that will help us develop clean code.

  • Name things meaningfully: This is one of the main points that we should take care of because when we name a variable, function, or symbol, it must tell us its whole life story, what it does, and why it’s there. The name is an entry point, and it must be properly described. If a name requires a comment, it isn’t meaningful.

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