Coding Standards

Posted on 2011-10-10
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
This question is really about standards.

I am running a few projects using freelancers as coders (all web based technology) who will be working from a Functional Specification. The specification will for example say that menu should behave in a certain way; for example slide down and show the user the options and upon mouse over highlight in blue.

This can be approached in a number of different ways, not least which script to write it in but also how it is scripted.

I want to give guidance on the way the page is scripted. Although the page will be fully tested, my other priority is maintainability of the page especially as the page may be amended by another developer at another date.

I am thinking of giving the freelance coders a standard to go by to ensure that the way in which the code is written is best practice and will leave the page flexible for future development and amendments. I know the latter is difficult but I’m sure there is an approach that will in some way help support this. The main codes I will be using are likely to be:

XML (feeds from WordPress)

Are there any recommendations on how I could approach this in giving some guidelines to ensure a certain good level of coding is done by the freelancers and the quality of the code is good and supports the page being maintainable for the future?

Are there any naming strategy’s that could be useful to use for example..

Question by:gisvpn
    LVL 28

    Expert Comment

    Anything that has to be standardized in that way should have a code-sample to work from. The rest of the code should be pretty easily maintainable because there way of doing this is much more limited.

    Author Comment


     Thanks for the post could you explain a little more on how the code sample that they would work from could work?


    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    write a section of code yourself, pointing out the key features you want to see (testability, naming conventions, object structure, etc).  As the developers create code, have them code review each others code and ask as part of that review "does this code match the sample code?"  you might consider requiring a peer code review to be done before you will pay for their time..

    Each coder will code their parts differently - but you want to see different dialects, not different approaches to language.  Lots of options, but all approach hinge on everyone on the team communicating and working towards the same goal - just having a document out there really won't do anything.  

    No matter how you address it, there will be some egos - so get ready for the response that "I've already completed this, now you're making me rewrite it so that it looks nice?" - yes, the answer is yes - stay strong.  or better yet, don't let a freelance developer code for 40 hours before you see the work they are doing - ask for daily or more frequent check-ins, have a set time every day where you review their code or "team" code with them over web-ex.  If you want it consistent, you've got to get your hands dirty.

    Good luck!

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