Better Code Comprehension

It has been over two years, since I explained, why underscores in method names increase developer productivity. Many coding guidelines didn’t improve in this regard but what did improve are the tools that help us to overcome those corporate decision making shortcomings.

Why should we care? We all know how important methods are. Along namespaces and classes they give code high level structure. For me the name of a method is the most important part. The name communicates to me what the method does, and why it is there. Based on that information I decide whether I want to read the method body or not. If I can read method names faster, I can decide faster and become faster overall when working with code.

A few years ago I started my research on how IDEs can support us when it comes to reading code faster. Today I want to share with you two tools that I have been developing that do exactly that: allow me to comprehend code twice as fast.

The first tool is MethodsBigger and it increases the font size of a method definition a little so that the method name stands out like a heading.

The second tool is MethodsReadable and it inserts a little whitespace into a CamelCase method name so that our eyes find more fix points to jump to in order to scan the words.

Both tools combined provide a powerful support mechanism for reading code faster. Methods are more easily recognizable and their names are read almost automatically. Especially when coding on a high speed level.

The source code of these Visual Studio Extensions can be downloaded at my GitHub repository. Feel free to provide feedback and let me know if you find yourself getting more efficient.

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