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I'm a strong advocate of pair and mob programming.

When I program alone I still use TDD and BDD to guide my code.

However, when I am solo programming, how can I get the feedback and suggestions that normally would add so much value from those pair/mob sessions?

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Achieve quality code through modern tools and automation

Note: All of these practices also apply to pair and mob programming, code reviews & pull requests. Try to get all of the steps below working before you submit a pull request and your fellow developers will be very grateful.

Don't think of automation as just 'tests and testing'.. Automation in this context means also getting feedback from tools and technologies that can help.
Four key methods for getting that 'over your shoulder feedback' for Javascript, when you don't have a pair/mob are shown below. I also use them somewhat in order, e.g. linting (for errors at least) must pass before tests even run, etc.

  • 'use strict'; Automatically gives helpful advice.
  • Linting. With strong rules. This alone will give you constant feedback about poor practices.
  • Tests. Lets never forget them. They provide constant feedback and advice.
  • Code Coverage. Let these tools keep you honest and aim for 100% coverage at all times.

A fifth approach is to use a 'prettier' but personally the js one doesn't work for me (long discussion avoided). It might work for you however. That's OK too.

Sometimes I forget to add linting for a piece of code I am working on. And then I add it. Wow. I am usually amazed and humbled at all the things I cannot remember to do right. And each time I learn a little more about doing it right in the beginning next time :) Today for example, code coverage showed that a default parameter was untested and when I actually added a test the functionality turned out to be broken! Which I fixed. Thank you code coverage!

My linting rules as an example. I've been helped by most at one time or another.

rules:
  indent:
  - error
  - 2
  max-len:
  - warn
  - code: 120
  no-dupe-else-if: error
  no-dupe-keys: error
  no-duplicate-case: error
  no-unreachable: error
  prefer-const: error
  eqeqeq: error
  semi: error
  no-var: error
  no-fallthrough: error
  no-new: error
  no-redeclare: error
  vars-on-top: error
  default-param-last: error
  no-mixed-spaces-and-tabs: error
  no-tabs: error
  no-trailing-spaces: error
  no-irregular-whitespace: error
  no-unused-vars: error
  no-nested-ternary: error
  no-multiple-empty-lines: error
  no-extra-boolean-cast: warn
  no-extra-parens: warn
  default-case: warn
  no-else-return: warn
  no-eq-null: warn
  no-eval: warn
  no-loop-func: warn
  no-native-reassign: warn
  no-param-reassign: warn
  no-self-compare: warn
  accessor-pairs: warn
  block-scoped-var: warn
  no-throw-literal: warn
  prefer-regex-literals: warn
  camelcase: warn
  no-useless-rename: warn
  prefer-rest-params: warn
  prefer-template: warn
plugins:
  - "mocha"
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