In the world of eLearning programming, there are many ways your code can have an error. The trick is to know how to fix the most basic of codes.
Earlier today I was talking with Mark Lassoff, President of LearnToProgram.tv, on Twitter about how excited we are for him to speak about programming for eLearning Developers at DevLearn this October 29 – 31 in Las Vegas. In the meantime, I satisfied my coding fix by reading one of his blog articles, which discussed ways to debug your code and found it helpful. Although the article was written for web developers, it has many useful principles for eLearning developers as well.
Here are my six tips for eLearning developers to help fix their code:
#1 Monitor Your Variable and Method Names
Sometimes the biggest issue is keeping consistent spelling, capitalization, and punctuation with your variables and method names. Make sure you monitor your code. Finding the issue before your deadline arrives can save you stress. There are some languages where a difference between MyVariable, myVariable, and myvariable won’t be a problem, but in most languages these subtle changes do mean something different. The way to beat out inconsistency in your code is to choose one consistent method of code. Make sure to write down your naming conventions, and keep it consistent. You can refer to your notes when needed.
#2 Close Your Loops and Other Elements
Another issue, attributed to consistency, is closing your code. Did you tie the code together by closing your loops or elements? A quick double checking of the code will save you the hassle of worrying about this later. You may feel like you have this nailed down, but it often gets forgotten.
#3 Check Your Punctuation
An error in execution in punctuation means your code is not going to work properly. I cannot emphasize enough: make sure your punctuation is correct. You can use a color editor to give you an idea what code is not working so you can fix the small errors. Unfortunately, not all text editors use the color feature. One color text editor I enjoy using is Sublime Text.
#4 Test Small Parts of Code
Code can get long and confusing. I’d try testing small sections of code because testing all your code at once can get confusing. When new code is added to your project, run a debugging tool to ensure you find the fix right away. With this tip, you’ll be able to spot your errors quickly and easily. I recommend using Google Chrome’s built-in Developer Tools to test and debug.
#5 Make a Code Document
If you are newbie to coding, one of the best practices is to use a code document. What is a code document? It is a document that identifies attributes, capabilities, characteristics, or qualities of a system. It is the foundation for what shall be or has been implemented in code. Especially in the eLearning industry, you may not be using code every day, so you may be forgetting some bits of code and how they were written before. Keeping this document will be helpful to make similar bits of code easier to remember in the future.
#6 Google It and Look on Stack Overflow!
Still having problems with your code? Google will be able to solve nearly all your errors and questions, but here is a golden tip: when searching on Google, if you see a website link to StackOverflow.com, click it. This website has a ton of coding information. Stack Overflow is a question and answer site for professional and enthusiast programmers. It’s 100% free, and there is no registration required. How it works is the best programming answers are voted on, and the best answers go to the top. Chances are your coding solution could be found on Stack Overflow.com.
I hope this post becomes a useful resource for eLearning developers. Let me know in the comment section of any tricks or tips I may have missed.
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