Making Comments Count


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A generally accepted practice for writing software is leaving comments. These comments will hopefully be helpful to the next person that reads through the code. My overall goal when I comment code is to either describe the purpose of a method/class/file or the reasoning behind a decision that was made in the code.

Some comments describe what the code is doing verbatim. These work really well in coding tutorials or when I’m learning a new language and I need to remind myself of the function of a particular operator. Outside of those scenario’s I haven’t found them as useful since they are telling me something I already know by reading the code.

// Post-increment x and assign to y
var y = x++;

An exception to my previous statement, is when I find myself using a more esoteric operator, but in that case it is also nice to leave an explanation why the task couldn’t be accomplished with a simpler approach.

My preferred type of comments provide context to future contributors (including myself once I’ve forgotten everything about that piece of code in about a week). These are the comments that save time down the road by helping future contributors avoid pitfalls that have already been found and remedied.

// Using a loop instead of recursion due to intermittent StackOverflowExceptions
//  when processing deeply nested objects
    // ...

Happy commenting!