As a software developer, when you read another software developer’s code or you share your own, you quickly realize that not everybody writes code the way you do. In fact, individual programming styles can be as unique as people themselves. Unfortunately, in a software development environment where multiple software developers work on the same application, these individual software development styles can adversely affect the quality of the software. Having programming standards is essential to developing quality software and consistency is the key to enforcing them.

Software development standards enforce code readability. By following a consistent style, it allows other software developers on the project to maintain the software and more easily add new functionality. For the software developer maintaining the software, finding and correcting bugs is greatly simplified. By following programming standards, there are fewer ambiguities in the logic of the application being developed. This allows software developers to more easily share code and the ideas expressed within to foster more potential for code reuse. Software development standards also give a software developer a better view of how the code fits into the overall system.

Finally, using coding standards induces a feeling of pride about the quality of work produced. The feeling of pride induces a feeling of code ownership. The feeling of “code ownership” causes a software developer to feel better about his or her skills. The more skillful a software developer feels, the better the code becomes.