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How to quickly and efficiently create a web application? New

„Every technical problem is simple until you start implementing it.“

Applications, whether web, desktop or mobile, are developed every day. Their development is going unstoppably at very high speed. Clients request their applications ready/done quickly, so it's not possible for such an application to take years to develop. Development time is minimized and their quality and scope are increased. How to keep up with such applications? How to make an application quickly and well-written at the same time? That will be the topic of this article. I focused the article mostly on the development of web applications, but a few things could also be useful to developers of mobile or desktop applications.

Don't try to make applications quickly, but with quality

Lots of people, web developers, graphic designers and others try to make applications or websites as fast as possible. However, they don't realize that they sacrifice the quality or scope of application because of this, and the development process can be slowed down even further. They usually make elementary mistakes that can have a fatal impact on the application completion date or on their security or functionality.

Learn to use ready-made solutions effectively

Especially for frontend (but also for backend) applications, there is a huge amount of usable materials on the web. Whether it's various graphics or components, it's all on the web. However, the art is to recognize the right ones that are most suitable for the project and which we can possibly modify (i.e. have a suitable license and open code). An example of such a ready-made solution is Twitter bootstrap or Font awesome.

Automate everything you can

A website or an application usually contains a lot of scripts, styles, images, and other things. Styles and JavaScript are minimized in production versions (comments are removed, variables are renamed, etc.) using external tools, which on the one hand speeds up loading but also makes it difficult for other people to read the code. The process of deploying an application on a production server can be quite lengthy, as we do this manually. But we can automate everything. There are plenty of libraries that minimize code, merge script files, automatically generate thumbnails, or even upload an entire project to FTP while doing whatever it takes. As a result, such tools can save us hours of work.

Use frameworks

When developing any application, we always come across things that are repeated and which we usually solve over and over again on/in most projects. Such basic or even more advanced elements can take us a lot of time. At the same time, we don't have to solve them correctly at all (e.g. correct use of escape characters), which will again have a great impact on safety, functionality or performance. Thus, different frameworks have been created in each language, which more or less solve these problems and try to facilitate the application development process. It'd be foolish enough to ignore these frameworks.

Make the application design

Before you do anything, you need to analyze a problem. It's difficult to estimate the application's completion date, when we don't even know what its development will entail and whether we can handle it at all. The application design is very important. Whether you're taking notes on paper or drawing all sorts of UML diagrams, it'll definitely help you in development.

Study and use design patterns and idioms

Design patterns and the application architecture in general is very important. It provides us with extensibility, reusability and clarity of code. The knowledge of design patterns won't only help us in development, when we'll clearly know how to best implement a problem, guarantees us best practises, but also helps with communication in a team of programmers. It's much more convenient and easier to tell a programmer to use an Observer design pattern than to explain it to him in a complicated way. A person familiar with design patterns can be a great asset to a team.

Test, test, test!

Something that is underestimated and condemned by many, especially beginning developers or investors. At the same time, we test almost all the time and we don't even realize it. We all make mistakes. How many times have you printed a variable's value during development? It's testing, but the problem with these tests is that we'll remove them from the application as soon as a problem is solved. It's important to use test automation. We can then easily test at any time. It's very important whether we work on a project alone or with a team of programmers. Code is always worth testing. Testing can reveal unsecured parts of an application, unsecured inputs and will help us a lot, for example, in refactoring. We can always rely on them, but beware, an application 100% tested doesn't mean it's perfectly secured.

Use version control

Especially if you're working on an application with several people, you'll run into the problem of how to safely deliver code changes you've made to other team members. The answer is to use version control. This will allow us to upload code changes to a remote (or local) server, where they'll be saved and available to download by all team members. In addition, we can arbitrarily revert back to the latest functional version, for example. There are many version control systems, so you have a lot to choose from. It's no less important to write comments properly and choose a standard for writing code so that it's uniform throughout a project.

Conclusion

Application and website development is no longer a one-man affair. More people will usually be involved in the development. This article was just a brief summary of the knowledge I gained from the application and web development.


 

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Best Software Design Practices
Article has been written for you by Filip Smolík
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