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Create software that is usable – Usability has become a focal point of software and web site development because the impact of a bad user interface design can cripple the effectiveness of the software. The way you create usable software is by learning the fundamentals of interface design and by staying true to best practices.

Create software that performs well – Commit yourself to learning how to write code that is efficient, learning how to optimize the code you’ve created. Writing optimized code is a lifelong quest, researching the impact of each feature of a programming language, but by adopting best practices and knowing the fundamentals of writing and structuring your code, you can create applications that perform well.

There are two themes that I’ve highlighted throughout this section:

  • 1.

    Knowing the fundamentals

  • 2.

    Following Best Practices

Throughout this series of video lessons, I’ll be focusing in on these two concepts to ensure that you learn correctly from the start. I personally feel that too many developers want to use the latest complex features or techniques of a programming language before they are intimately familiar with the basics of that language. The result is predictable, as the old saying goes “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” Studying and getting the fundamentals right is a basic truism of life, of football, and of programming.

Also, too many people try to pave their own way. I’ve been on multiple projects where people tried to use a non-standard approach to a particular problem. It wasn’t always easy for me to articulate exactly why I was uncomfortable with that approach, but what I did know was that it simply “didn’t feel right.” Sure enough, about two months into development on a software project and the developer would realize that the decisions he made earlier now has hemmed him into a corner. He would have to re-write the code he created, or worse, just try to “hack” a solution, which forces him to sacrifice his ability to deliver an accurate, bug-free, usable, well performing application to the customer. This is why following best practices is so important – why make your own mistakes when you can learn from the mistakes of others?

Decide now that you will commit to coding correctly from day one.

Supplemental Readings for the Express Edition Videos Copyright © 2005 LearnVisualStudio.NET


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