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Keep it simple, stupid

Software developers are notorious for making life more difficult for themselves than necessary. I'm no exception to this, but it's getting better the more experience I get. KISS, or "Keep it simple, stupid" is a a design principle, but doesn't just apply to design and UI/UX. It also applies to software development.

Overcomplicated applications are a joy to build, but a nightmare to maintain and debug. Writing complicated applications using simple and clean code is a skill that you learn over the years. Easy-to-understand code is easier to maintain and debug. Simple code, despite the name, is not simple to write and takes experience.

Do yourself a huge favor and keep your applications as simple as possible. Make sure to document your thoughts when writing code. Ideally, you won't need to add comments to your code, because it's easy to understand. Your thought process and reasoning for writing that code, however, is something you should write down somewhere.

But only writing simple code is just 1 step. If you truly want to maintain your codebase for a longer period of time (years), make sure to keep your infrastructure as simple as possible as well. The fewer moving parts the better. If you can understand the whole stack quickly, you can write new features more quickly, fix bugs, and debug any problems.

Writing simple code is one of the best skills you can have as a software developer. Simple code is easier to extend, debug, and maintain. "Keep it simple, stupid" doesn't just apply to design, but also to software development. Knowing this principle will make you a better developer.

Posted on: March 28th, 2021

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