The key to developing programs

The key to developing programs

Designing software is the hardest part of developing software. When a design is created carefully and well structured the implementation in the desired programming language is easy. Though many programs aren’t based on a well structured design and thereby show flaws. In the paragraphs below I will explain some very important points that need more attention. 

Meet regularly with your customer

Although this sounds obvious this mistake has been made too often. Customer go to their software producing company, explain what they want from them and come back after some months to see the beta version and complain about the usability or technical features. This means the program designer has to start all over again and that’s not what we want. So make sure to meet with your customer regularly and show them your progress so that they can give feedback on your work.

Use the right software

The right kind of programming software is the key to making a structured design as well as structured source code. It makes programming a lot easier as it shows an error with an explanation every time you make a mistake. Most development software is free to use. Some examples are Eclipse and Netbeans. For designing a program in UML I recommend using Visual Paradigm as it is the easiest to use and it can be integrated with the software above. 

Less is more

When designing a piece of software make sure to think it trough. Don’t make 7 classes when 5 will do because this will slowdown the performance of the software. Think of easy ways to achieve your goal and make sure to check the internet for information when you’re stuck. Also make use of meaningful names for your methods. This way you know exactly what they’re used for.

 3 Layer model

Every programmer/designer has to understand the three layer model and has to be capable to use it in the right way. What’s the purpose of using this model? Real simple: When we have to adjust some details in of the layers we don’t have to adjust the other layers.  For people who haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about the three layer model splits your code into three parts. The “Graphical User Interface layer”, the “Domain layer” and the “Persistence layer”. These three layers communicate with each other in the same order.
The Graphical User Interface layer (GUI): The GUI interacts with the clients. This is what people see on their screen when they use a program. The buttons, the text fields, … are all programmed in a way to improve usability. This GUI layer contains no methods that involve manipulating data.
The Domain layer: This layer contains all methods that are used to manipulate data. For example: Calculating a formula.
The Persistence Layer: The Persistence layer contains data. It can possess lists of different kind of data or it can make a connection to a databank. 

When you cover all these paragraphs you will see that designing and programming will go a lot smoother when using a structured design.


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