EDDYMENS

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Get Better At Naming Things

What is this about?

So here goes the pitch!

Learning about naming conventions is not difficult (relatively speaking). Eg: camelCasing names for variables and functions in Javascript etc. These are easy to Google and learn.

The true difficulty, however, is coming up with a name that best reflects what a software component is doing, all the while staying within the constraints of standards.

Some of the thoughts and questions I am looking into

  • Industry domains, known terminologies, and when to use them.
    • Will every shop owner understand the use of the word channels on an e-commerce UI to represent the different shopfronts?
    • When does the use of known terminologies a bad idea?
  • Cultural influence, our vocabulary, and its effect on naming things
    • The file handyHelper.go in a German telecom company's codebase might not mean what you think it does. Hint: handy generally means mobile in German.
  • The fight between good grammar, standards, and readability: names vs nameList vs ListOfNames
  • How are other developers picking names?
  • Does your level of English affect how you name things?
  • Is there a formula we can follow? eg: Like what biologists have with Taxonomy.

ETC ETC

My research

To get better at naming things myself, I am currently scouting several open-source code bases, reading books on the subject, and asking other developers within the industry questions.

So I am by no means someone with 100 years of coding experience sharing his knowledge, no. I just happen to have time on my hands to look into the subject.

My goal is to document my findings and share them with you.

How is this research delivered?

My research and learnings are still ongoing, I learn something new every couple of days.

This makes it hard to package everything up into a single PDF at the moment.

For this reason, I have decided to schedule this into a newsletter which I send out as and when I learn something new worth sharing.

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