Naming Guidelines for Professional Programmers

Peter Hilton; Felienne Hermans

Programmers acknowledge the difficulty of naming things, whatever their experience level and wherever they work, but relatively few use explicit naming guidelines. Various authors have published different kinds of identifier naming guidelines, but these guidelines do little to make naming easier, in practice. Meanwhile, professional programmers follow diverse conventions and disagree about key aspects of naming, such as acceptable name lengths.

Although few teams write their own coding standards, let alone naming guidelines, many teams use code review and pair programming to maintain code quality. We believe that these teams could use third-party naming guidelines to inform these reviews, and improve their coding style.

This paper examines various sources of naming guidelines, in the context of the first author’s twenty years’ experience as a professional programmer. This paper then presents a consolidated set of naming guidelines that professional programmers can apply to the code they write.

Type of Publication: Paper
Conference: PPIG 2017 - 28th Annual Conference
Publication Year: 2017
Paper #: 19
TitleNaming Guidelines for Professional Programmers
Publication TypePaper
AuthorsHilton, P, Hermans, F
PPIG Workshop: 
2017-07-28th