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Today I will grumble about "best practices". It seams to me that a paranoia for "best practices" has overcome a lot of developers, some may even refusing to start a new task if they are not sure that the way it's going to be implemented meets a "best practice".

What Exactly is a "best practice" anyway? A quick search reveals the following:
  • Processes and activities that have been shown in practice to be the most effective.
  • Standard, published operating methods found to produce the best performance and results in a given industry or organization.
  • Best practices are practical techniques gained from experience that organizations may use to improve internal processes.
  • a technique that results in a greater number of positive outcomes than negative outcomes, as compared to alternative procedures.
At Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_practices) we can read:

"Best practice asserts that there is a technique, method, process, activity, incentive or reward that is more effective at delivering a particular outcome than any other technique, method, process, etc. The idea is that with proper processes, checks, and testing, a desired outcome can be delivered with fewer problems and unforeseen complications. Best practices can also be defined as the most efficient (least amount of effort) and effective (best results) way of accomplishing a task, based on repeatable procedures that have proven themselves over time for large numbers of people.

Despite the need to improve on processes as times change and things evolve, best-practice is considered by some as a business buzzword used to describe the process of developing and following a standard way of doing things that multiple organizations can use for management, policy, and especially software systems.

As the term has become more popular, some organizations have begun using the term "best practices" to refer to what are in fact merely 'rules', causing a linguistic drift in which a new term such as "good ideas" is needed to refer to what would previously have been called "best practices.""

 

Ok, so what I am trying to state is that a so called "Best Practice" may or may not serve your purposes. From my perspective in programming a "Best Practice" is a coding approach to a specific problem (sql parameters is a perfect example) and should be used where aplyable, but this does not mean that every single input to a sql query must be passed as an sql parameter, if you have an integer you can pretty much assume that it is not hidding a sql injection and not using the "best practice" will not only be safe for your application has it will probably make it a bit more efficient.

 

The main issue is that if you follow every best pratice available you will not understand why something is done in a certain way and it might (or not) limit your creativity and knowhow.

 

My advice is to use the so called "best practices" but understand why they exist and analise if they work for you, or if you can give them a little tweek so it best suits YOU and YOUR team.

 

When everyone is against you, it means that you are absolutely wrong-- or absolutely right.
  - Albert Guinon


Posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 6:29 PM Geral | Back to top


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