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Your Coding Standards Should Be Highly Opinionated, Not Your Developers

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    Andrew Blase


In the fast-paced world of software development, consistency is often the key to success. Yet, aligning teams around a common set of coding standards can be a daunting challenge, especially in mid to large-sized companies. This blog post aims to explain why having highly opinionated coding standards can be transformative for your development process, enhancing both speed and quality of software delivery.

software Enginerign Team Working In Harmony

The Importance of Consistency in Development

Understanding Complexity

Modern software development involves a myriad of tools and technologies, from TypeScript and Docker to GraphQL and REST APIs. This complexity can be overwhelming, making it difficult for teams to stay aligned. Imagine building a road: if every city used different road signs and materials, driving would be chaotic. Similarly, inconsistent coding practices lead to confusion and inefficiency.

A chaotic road with various road signs and materials

Business Impact

Consistency in coding standards ensures that code is well-written, easy to understand, secure, and error-free. This not only speeds up development but also reduces the likelihood of bugs, making the software more reliable and maintainable.

The Benefits of Opinionated Coding Standards


Opinionated coding standards are predefined rules and guidelines that dictate how code should be written and managed. These standards cover everything from code patterns and tool usage to testing approaches and deployment processes.


Standardized practices eliminate the need for developers to make decisions about coding style or tools, allowing them to focus on solving actual problems. This accelerates the development process and reduces onboarding time for new team members.

Developers collaborating efficiently around a set of predefined coding standards


Strict coding standards improve code quality by ensuring that all code adheres to the same principles. This makes the codebase more maintainable and less prone to bugs, ultimately leading to more secure and reliable software.

Team Collaboration

When everyone follows the same standards, collaboration becomes more straightforward. Developers can easily understand each other's code, which enhances communication and teamwork.

Overcoming Common Challenges

Developer Autonomy

One of the biggest challenges is getting developers to buy into standardized practices. Developers often have strong preferences for how they write code. The key is to involve them in the decision-making process and clearly communicate the benefits. When developers understand that these standards are designed to make their lives easier and their work more efficient, they are more likely to embrace them.

Implementation Strategy

Start by setting clear, comprehensive guidelines. Use tools like Docker for containerization, YAML files for deploying to cloud services, and logging tools to monitor performance. Automate testing and deployment processes to ensure consistency and reduce manual errors.

Diagram of a robust build and deploy pipeline

Building a Supportive Environment

Agile and DevOps

Agile methodologies and DevOps practices thrive on small, incremental changes and continuous integration and delivery. Opinionated coding standards fit perfectly within these frameworks, ensuring that every piece of code adheres to the same principles, making integration and deployment smoother.

Tools and Automation

A robust build and deploy pipeline with automated testing is essential. These tools handle environment variables and database data population for local development, freeing developers to focus on writing code rather than managing configurations and deployments.

Continuous Improvement

Regularly review and refine your standards based on feedback and evolving project needs. Encourage a culture of continuous improvement where developers feel they can suggest changes that enhance efficiency and code quality.


In conclusion, while developers should have the freedom to solve problems creatively, the framework within which they operate should be consistent and standardized. By implementing highly opinionated coding standards, you can reduce complexity, improve code quality, and speed up the development process. This approach ensures that your team can deliver high-quality features quickly and reliably, driving the success of your projects and your business.

Successful software development team celebrating

Key Takeaways

  • Consistency: Standardized practices reduce confusion and improve efficiency.
  • Speed: Opinionated standards accelerate development and reduce onboarding time.
  • Quality: Strict standards enhance code quality and reliability.
  • Collaboration: Common standards improve team communication and collaboration.
  • Continuous Improvement: Regularly review and update standards based on feedback and project needs.

Further Reading

Get twice as much done with a fifth of the code.