New programmers face a number of challenges, which are primarily due to their lack of experience. Many of the obstacles that programmers tend to encounter are due to their tendency to over complicate things.
You might be tempted to try reinventing the wheel with every project. However, there are usually simpler and more time efficient ways to accomplish the same tasks. One approach to streamline the coding process is by using external libraries to your full advantage.
External code libraries can be incredibly useful. However, you need to know how to use them effectively. You should also understand the importance of using third-party tools based on external code libraries, such as mapstructure. Here are some guidelines that will help.
Inspect the comments carefully first
Not all code libraries are created equally. Some of them are going to be very sophisticated and free of hazardous programming bugs. Others are going to have all kinds of syntax errors, which will cause your own code to blow up in your face.
Unfortunately, even the libraries that are free of programming bugs might not be worthwhile. They are still only effective if you understand the context of the code and purpose of various parts of it.
You will need to pay close attention to the comments. You don’t want to use code that doesn’t have plenty of comments. This is a red flag that the developer is an amateur. You also will have a hard time following the purpose of the code and knowing how to incorporate it into your own applications.
Use libraries plugins or modules with CMS for web projects
You can find a number of different ways to utilize external coding libraries. You might tap these resources when you are creating raw code from scratch.
However, it is also possible to use external code libraries within other applications. One example is with a CMS, such as WordPress or Drupal for web development projects.
These platforms often have plug-ins or modules that you can seamlessly integrate into your project. This prevents you from needing to write any code at all, at least for that aspect of the development process.
Make sure that you understand the permission requirements before trying to utilize any code library
Every code library is going to have its own security standards and permission requirements. You need to familiarize yourself with them before trying to utilize the resources available.
Make sure that you are able to satisfy the permission requirements and get the credentials needed. If that proves to be too much of a challenge, then you might want to find another code library with similar solutions but more lenient connection requirements.
Take advantage of autoloading classes
Autoloading classes can be very useful in many programming applications. They are especially important for PHP development, but can be used in countless other programming languages as well.
You need to familiarize yourself with the specific functions pertaining to autoloading. There should be a function or module that creates a registry of information for the project. There will also be a specific function for working with external libraries and autoloading the data.
You need to understand the proper syntax involved. Some properties, such as file paths might be optional. Others, such as return array have to be included. You can expedite your code by omitting modules or variables that are not required.
Vet all coding libraries for security before using them
As stated earlier, code libraries are far from infallible. One issue is that they may contain significant security flaws that you have to be aware of.
Malicious developers might have intentionally created these code libraries to spread malware. This is not the norm, but it can happen. The more likely scenario is that they unwittingly included some careless coding flaws, which expose other programmers to security risks.
You should learn as much as possible about the coding libraries before using them. Other programmers will warn you about security flaws that they discovered. You don’t want to use these libraries, especially for projects requiring tight security.