I have been working as Ruby on Rails developer since last five years with Josh Software, I felt that I should write down my learnings about the best practices followed by the RoR developer. How I learned …? of course to learn something you need to commit the mistakes, thats how we learn right?
Let’s see, What all you should follow to be a ‘Good’ Ruby on Rails developer.
Whenever you come across database table schema design do you think through all the aspects like
The table which is being designed where its going to be used? How much it might grow in terms of the data size? (Imagine the worst future of your design)
Have I kept correct data types, defaults, constraints if any? Most of the times we really don’t need integer columns, We can use
smallintinstead for smaller set of
Have I added indexes wherever necessary? Thinking through What kind of the queries this table is going to handle?
A special point…Do you write multiple migrations for same table? if yes, it's a bad habit.
Often we don’t think through all the points mentioned above and end up creating multiple migrations for same table which causes codebase to look scary.
Instead you should use
down on the migration to fix or alter the table, change in the requirement is an exception to this.
We all know a convention of “skinny controller and fat model”, some of us already follow this but do we follow it wisely.
We are living in the Rails 5 era, so Why overload models?
Why not to follow “keep everything skinny move extra fat to concerns or service objects from the models”, the classes in the codebase should be designed to handle single responsibility.
I came across the following posts about how to organise controllers and using service objects in Rails.
I have seen many applications whose CI builds takes ages to finish, What exactly they are testing?
Your test cases should be testing the “code” not the machine performance, better test suits
- Share objects between different examples.
- Uses method stubs and avoid the repetitive calls to the methods.
- Don’t test same code twice, if you have sharable piece of code and used at multiple places then don’t write test cases in multiple places.
- Does not creates unnecessary test records, unknowingly many developers end up creating unnecessary test records.
Much better will be reduce the list size, if you are not doing anything special with 10 users.
If you are an engineer and reduce efforts of others, then you use the utilities of other engineers to reduce your efforts.
A healthy Rails production environment always have
- Monit – Is everything up and running? if not get notified.
- logrotate – rotates, compresses, and mails system logs.
- crontabs with whenever, schedules work for you.
- Database backup scripts running in maintenance window.
- Exception notifiers like Sentry or Rollbar or ‘anything that suits you’.
If you are working in a team and using git then you follow the git etiquettes like
- Don’t commit untracked files – we often keep git untracked files like
,some.test.script`, you should not commit such files.
- Branch naming – naming something is always difficult but you have to do it, the feature branches should have sensible names, don’t use names like
- Delete the feature branches after merge – no explanation required.
- Commit messages – your commit messages must have
Github issue numberor
any project management story number/link,
brief description about feature/task
Remember you are not the only one who is going to work on particular application for your lifetime. Someone will takeover you and he should not waste his time in figuring out that how to setup things.
Your application repository must have updated
README.md with detail steps about setting up an application for the first time.
We often use credentials for database configs, secrets.yml, third party api’s like AWS, payment gateway, sentry etc.
You should not commit such credentials/secrets/environment variables to the Github instead you keep them secure with gems like dotenv-rails, figaro or simple dot files that are not committed to the repository.
A sample file of such credentials should be committed and updated regularly.
While working in a team you should get your feature reviewed from another team mate or before starting on any feature discuss it with the team thoroughly, advantages of the code reviews or feature discussion are you will come across many scenarios that are not thought of.
If you are the only one who is working on a application then you must criticise your own code and cover all the scenarios in test cases.
In open source community we get frequent updates or releases for ruby, rails and gems, you must keep yourself aware and informed by subscribing to the repositories or mailing lists and update your application libraries.
Also you should stay alert on security fixes about the production operating system, database so you can take necessary action on time.
You write clean and maintainable code and your codebase is
- Properly indented
- Only 80 columns wide
- Maintainable with smaller methods, less complexity – To know more on this make a habit of using code analyzer like rubocop, Code Climate
- Codebase follows Ruby best practices and style guide.
Well there are many more points that can be included in this list but I feel these are the most important to fill in first into this list, If you find that I have missed anything more important then you can comment on this post.
Thanks for the reading upto here, hope this will help you to become a ‘Good’ developer.
PS: I am moving out of wordpress this is a cross post.