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Why Transparent Code is a Good Idea

Why Transparent Code is a Good Idea

Why transparent code is a good idea

Code is used to make up the apps and software we use every day. From our favorite social media platforms to our online banking services, code is the framework used to build these tools that help make our lives easier. Code is complex. Software today requires large teams of programmers working round the clock to create, test, and implement code. Coding is a broad field with a range of different approaches, techniques, and philosophies, including things like a software bill of materials and test-driven development. What is transparent code? Why is it a good idea?

What is Transparent Code?

As we have already touched on, code is complicated. Even seemingly basic applications often require vast amounts of code to function correctly. Developers must be organized and in constant communication to ensure things don’t get out of control.

Software requires regular updates and maintenance to ensure it is working correctly and that any weaknesses or vulnerabilities are correct. This means developers will constantly have to go back over old code to fix issues and rectify mistakes.

Transparent code is code that is easily understandable to anyone looking at it. Regardless of how long ago it was written or who wrote it.

Why is Transparent Code so Important?

Software development is a costly and lengthy process where time equals money. To stay on schedule and within budget, all processes must be streamlined and carried out with a high degree of efficiency.

When looking back over code that has been written months or even years ago, or if reviewing code written by someone else, it can be difficult for a programmer to make sense of what they see. They’ll need to spend time working out what’s going on before they can take steps to address any problems.

Code that is written transparently will be easy to understand for any programmer looking back over it. The structure and function of each section will be clearly defined.

Implementing a transparent coding policy can save a significant amount of time and money further down the line. Software reviews and updates can be carried out quickly and efficiently with minimal issues.

Principles of Transparent Coding

In essence, transparent coding is all about organization and identification. When writing code, think about how easy it will be to understand when looking back on it in a year’s time or if somebody else has to review it.

For example, in object-oriented programming, all objects, classes, methods, and variables should be clearly labeled and defined. Objects should be named according to their use, methods should be named after the function they perform, and variables should all be individually labeled.

One of the key principles of transparent coding is to work from the top down. What this means is that user interfaces and front-facing features should be created first, before under-the-hood code like databases and services.

This way, when making changes to supporting code during subsequent updates and security reviews, the user interface won’t be affected, and the performance of the software won’t be impacted.

Why is it Important to Review Code?

Cybercrime is an ever-increasing threat. Research suggests that cybercrime will cost the world upwards of $11 trillion this year, with this figure only expected to increase further in the future.

Hackers and scammers are constantly looking for new ways to compromise software and access sensitive user information. They will target weak points in software’s code, often via access points like login systems, to infiltrate databases and steal data.

Technology is in a state of constant evolution. As systems continue to develop, older code can display weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Hackers are well aware of this; they will scour systems looking for potential entry points.

As a developer, regularly reviewing your code is absolutely crucial. This is the only way that issues and weaknesses can be identified, and from there, steps can be taken to correct issues and protect software from cyberattacks.

Data breaches are incredibly serious. The personal data of your users will be at risk. Also, your app and brand’s reputation will be irreparably damaged, and you could even face legal or regulatory repercussions.

Laws such as the GDPR and the Data Protection Act set out strict rules for the collection, storage, and management of user data. Additionally, if you are found to have flouted these rules and put user information at risk, you could be hit with a significant fine.

Conclusion

To conclude, in decades past, coding was a fringe activity reserved for computer experts and researchers. Today, coding is an essential skill. Programmers are in high demand. We can expect to see coding become even more important as our lives become ever more interlinked with digital devices and online services.

Transparent code involves making sure that all parts of a piece of code are clearly labeled and easily identifiable. Coding in a transparent manner means that future changes and patches can be done quickly and efficiently. This is essential and is one of the most effective ways to safeguard software against attacks from hackers and cybercriminals. Cybercrime is an ever-increasing risk. Developers must be vigilant and aware of their code’s vulnerabilities and all emerging threats.

DevX Editor

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