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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Keeping It Clean

Keeping code clean is a lot like keeping a room clean. Once your room becomes a mess, it becomes harder to clean. The worse the mess becomes, the less you want to clean it.

Suppose you do one giant cleanup of your room. Now what? If you want your room to remain clean, you can't leave things on the floor (like those socks) or allow books, magazines, glasses, or toys to pile up on tables. You must practice continuous hygiene.

Have you ever been in this situation? I have. If I can keep my room clean for several weeks, continuous hygiene starts to become a habit. Then I don't have to think so hard about whether I should throw my socks on the floor or deposit them in the laundry hamper. My habit propels me to put the socks in the hamper.

Unfortunately, new habits often run the risk of being compromised by old habits. One day you're too tired to pick your clothes up off the floor. Then several books get knocked off a shelf by a certain toddler. Before you know it, your room is a mess again.

To keep code clean, we must continuously remove duplication and simplify and clarify code. We must not tolerate messes in code, and we must not backslide into bad habits. Clean code leads to better design, which leads to faster development, which leads to happy customers and programmers. Keep your code clean.

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