Learn why programming standards are important
Learn how to set up your computer and Visual Studio .NET
Learn suggested naming and programming conventions
Programming standards are created for many reasons. Most mainframe shops have had programming standards for years. Unfortunately, most PC programmers have forgotten standards they might have used, or have never worked in a formal programming shop and will often overlook this important step in application development.
Creating a programming standard does not limit your creativity, as most programmers seem to think. Instead, programming standards help you focus your creativity where it is really needed. You can concentrate on the program itself, instead of having to always think about what name to give a procedure or variable. Think about the Windows environment (or even the Macintosh): Every program written for Windows has a consistent look and feel. This is why users like using Windows programs, because they do not have to learn everything about how a new program works. They already know how to use most of the features of it. By using standards in your programming, you can also keep your code's "look and feel" consistent. This means you spend less time figuring out what the variables are or how many indents some other developer might have used, and you can focus more on the logic of the program.
The use of standards can lead to reduced maintenance costs as well, due to a consistent look and feel. This means you can move from one project to another very easily, even one someone else wrote, and immediately read and understand the code. Programming standards are used to help programmers create a consistent structure, coding style, and naming convention for variables within an application. Standards help a programmer create code that is unambiguous, easy to read, and easy to maintain by other developers.
We use the standards described in this appendix when developing applications for our clients. These rules aren't "set in stone," however. They're just the ones used in our organizations. Feel free to modify them to suit your own organization's needs.
The developers at PDSA, Inc., have created a full document describing the programming practices in use at their company. You might want to stop by www.pdsa.com and download this useful document.