Tips and Tricks to Finding Mistakes in Your Java Code
Java Code Review Tips and Tricks. No one, sometimes not even experts, can avoid making mistakes in their Java code from the beginning. But you know what makes them experts? They are conversant with tips to limit common mistakes and hasten their jobs.
So how do they notice the errors in Java Code quickly? What tricks will speed the mistake-finding process?
You will learn helpful tips and tricks to use as you read on.
Top 6 Tricks to Help You Find Mistakes in Your Java Code
Java Code Review Tips and Tricks. The main tips to help you find mistakes in your java code faster include:
1. First, Run Through the Code
Run the entire code through to help you locate where the problem is. Running the entire code will also help you narrow down the problems as you create solutions to a few.
The old method uses the scroll bar to navigate through the code. You may also modularize the code: divide them into small readable subcomponents. Taking the components individually, you will notice sectional errors better.
2. Pay Attention to Syntax Highlighters
Typical syntax errors include leaving out a bracket, forgetting to fix a semicolon, etc. You may use a compiler to catch syntax errors. Another approach to solving syntax errors is interpreting the code in another language.
Syntax highlighters and IDEs will highlight your errors and auto-indent the code, reducing your work. These IDEs or text editors are aware of the language's syntax. They also use different colors for keywords, strings, comments, and codes. Familiarize yourself with the standard colors of the highlighter. That way, you will pick out syntax mistakes when part of the code carries the wrong color.
3. Use a Linter
Linters are basic static code analyzers that help developers automate the code review process. They detect bugs, auto-fix style errors, and suspicious constructs using standard code rules.
How does the linting tool work? First, the linter analyzes the source code, looks for security issues, and flags programming errors. Then, they ensure maintaining the code is easy by fixing the code structure. In the end, they improve readability and overall quality.
The Checkstyle tool works excellent for linting. There are many available tools like SolarLint,
Note: Use the linter to analyze the entire code before using a code review tool. You will reduce problems to the least when you follow this order.
4. Use Java Code Review Tools
Before launching the code, review it using specific Java code review tools. These tools evaluate the integrity of the source code. In addition, it further increases code quality by reporting common mistakes like duplication or unnecessary code components. You can liken code reviewing to proofreading a document.
Below is a list of open-source and easy-to-use code review tools that work well with Java. The tools include;
PMD is a free, open-source review tool. Aside from fixing the primary review errors, PMD is a static analyzer- it detects IP addresses or passwords that make a website vulnerable to attacks. PMD has a copy and paste detector, CPD, compatible with other programming languages.
FindBugs, like PMD, is a free, open-source Java code review tool. The tool analyzes inconsistencies and warns the developer. The developer may make immediate corrections too. However, it works best with the initial version of Java tools.
SpotBugs is an upgrade of FineBugs. It classifies mistakes and warns the developer of these mistakes.
Checkstyle is a free tool that locates design and formatting mistakes.
Graudit helps developers to find loopholes that can lead to security threats.
JArchitect inspects the Java code for complexity and clarity. It provides metrics for the analysis of the code.
5. Use a Compiler
You may know that a compiler can find syntax errors, but that isn't all. You can use a compiler to solve compile time, runtime and logic errors. A compiler works great for typos, unbound variables and similar mistakes.
The compiler detects compile-time errors and indicates the lines where the error is. After indicating the error, it sends an error message to the screen.
You should know that a compiler sometimes shows many error messages for a single error. When this happens, deal with the first error and recompile.
Debugging is a must-have skill for Java developers. Debugging helps remove the last abnormalities you did not see after using code review tools. You can debug by right-clicking the Java editor class file from Package Explorer and then clicking on Debug As. Another method is to use the shortcut Alt+ Shift+ D. You may also use the Java Debugger, JDB, which debugs with a simple command on the platform.
To reduce the appearance of bugs in your code, you should:
Use available libraries. The simplest way to not see bugs in your code is not to write codes from scratch.
Reduce the complexity of the code. If you can, avoid writing fancy codes. The more complicated a code is, the more bugs it comes with. Simple codes are easier to debug.
Learn helpful proof techniques. Get a pen and paper to solve the more minor bugs. When you fix the smaller bugs, you can better concentrate on the larger ones.
Know how to refactor an existing code. Make changes in the code using automated tools to get rid of the bugs.
Use a standard debugging tool. You may use available tools on your IDE or a tool dedicated to debugging.
To debug with an IDE tool such as Eclipse, you may:
First, apply breakpoints that allow you to suspend the program's execution for a while.
Use the watchpoint feature. It allows you to stop a program each time you change a variable.
Third, use the step filtering approach. The approach allows you to skip some packages during the debugging process.
Finally, inspect and evaluate the expressions.
Other Helpful Tricks
Aside from using the above tips, other tricks that can help you include:
Show the problem to a code buddy. Sometimes, one may not be able to see their mistakes because they get too familiar with their code. It may take another coder to point out your mistakes.
Have a standard architecture. The structure should define interfaces, functions, data control and so on.
Understand the idea behind the syntax, functions and libraries in your code.
Check for changes in data flow or the variable at every stage. Verify the problem.
Use proper indentation.
Make the console.log your friend. Some mistakes are not easy to spot. Printing values to the console will help you know how valid the code is.
Lastly, do a coding development test. These are the best ways to get rid of all bugs. Write the tests first, then test-run them. Afterward, you can write the code that passes the test.
This article covers helpful tips and tricks to give you a smooth journey as a programmer. With constant practice and deploying these tips, you will become a pro developer in no time.