Standards in our everyday life make things easy for us. We often take them for granted, but they are everywhere around us often representing thousands of hours or research and trial and error. Standards inform us, they save us time, they pave the way for building new inventions and processes, they even keep us safe.
Can you imagine how complicated it would be if there were no standards for the electrical sockets in our walls, you would have to tell the hardware store which builder built your house to make sure that a new appliance or lamp would work in your home. We already often experience this when we travel to a foreign country, and currently there are only around 20 common ones used around the world.
Some standards that affect our everyday lives…
- Building codes
- The side of the road we drive on
- Food nutritional labelling
- International time and daylight savings time
- Our currency
- The Internet, Wifi, and TCP/IP
- Is the pedal on the right, the brake or the accelerator
I think you get the idea, standards are all around us.
On the technical side of things, “Standardization can help to maximize compatibility, interoperability, safety, repeatability, or quality” (Wikipedia). It is my belief that crucial parts of developing standards are documentation and communicating it to others. Most developers hate creating documentation (myself included), just grab a keyboard and start coding, so standards are not made or communicated.
I would like to share some standards that I have created or adopted from others over the years. Nothing earth shattering, but maybe it will help some others come up with standards of their own, and increase their code quality and ease of maintenance.
In my next blog entry, I will be listing out some of these standards. Stay tuned…