Characteristics of a Good Computer Program

In this post, you will learn about the characteristics of a good computer program.

We know that each computer requires a proper guidance set (programs) to carry out the necessary task. The processing of the task depends on the given instructions. So it is also important that the provided instructions be given in the proper way. Therefore, a program should be written in such a way that it is easier to understand and implement. So that it can provide us with the desired output.

Characteristics of a Good Computer Program

What is a good computer program?

A computer program is a sequence or set of instructions in a programming language for a computer to execute. While making great projects, we need to follow the specific rules of the programming language to make an effective program. These are some best practises we should always have in mind.

  • Meaningful identifiers
  • Consistent indentation
  • Limit line length
  • File and folder structure
  • Comments

Meaningful identifiers

Identifiers are names for entities in a program, such as variables, arrays, functions, data definitions, labels, etc. An identifier can be composed only of uppercase, lowercase letters, underscore, and digits, but should start only with an alphabet or an underscore. An identifier name should indicate the meaning and usage of the element in code. Example:

int amount;

double totalbalance;

Consistent indentation

Correct use of identifiers, white space, and documentation makes your program easier to understand. Indentation is the better way to represent the relationship between control flow constructs such as selection statements or loops and the code contained within and outside of them. Developers use indentation to understand the structure of their programs for human readers. Example:

If X > Y :
         print "X is bigger than Y." 
         print "Y is bigger than X." 

Limit line length

Long queues are difficult to read. It is decent practise to try not to write long lines of code.

File and folder structure

We should avoid writing all of our code in one or two files. That won't break your application, but it would be a bad experience to read, debug, troubleshoot, and maintain your application in the future. Structuring programming files in folders will make the code a lot more readable, maintainable, easier to locate, and organise files and versions.


Comments are invaluable in helping the next person who reads your code figure out what you were thinking when you wrote it, even when that person is yourself a month from now. It is good practise to write comments for every function, class, and property in your code. Example:

C Style Comment
/* This is 
* C style
* Comment

What are the characteristics of a program which make it easier?

These are the following characteristics of a good computer program-


A program should be supported by many different computers. The program should compile and run smoothly on different platforms. Because of rapid development in hardware and software, platform change is a common phenomenon these days. So, portability is measured by how a software application can be transferred from one computer environment to another without failure. A program is said to be more portable if it is easily adopted on different computer systems. Subsequently, if a program is developed only for a particular platform, its life expectancy is seriously compromised.


It is the process of fixing program errors and improving the program. If a program is easy to read and understand, then its maintenance will be easier. It should also prevent unwanted work so that the maintenance cost in the future will be low. It should also have quality to easily meet new requirements. A maintainable software allows us to fix bugs quickly and easily, improve usability and performance, add new features, make changes to support multiple platforms, and so on.


Program is said to be more efficient if it takes the least amount of memory and processing time and is easily converted to machine language. The algorithm should be more effective. Every program needs certain processing time and memory to process the instructions and data. The program efficiency is also high if it has a high speed during runtime execution of the program.


The user's actual needs will change from time-to-time, so the program is said to be reliable if it works smoothly in every version. It is measured as reliable if it gives the same performance in all simple to complex conditions.

Machine Independent

Program should be machine-independent. Program written on one system should be able to execute on many different types of computers without any changes. It is not system specific and provides more flexibility. An example of this would be Java.

Cost Effectiveness

Cost Effectiveness is the key to measure the program quality. Cost must be measured over the life of the program and must include both cost and human cost of producing these programs.


The program should be written in such a manner that it allows one to add new features without changing the existing module. The majority of the projects are developed for a specific period, and they require modifications from time to time. It should always be ready to meet new requirements. Highly flexible software is always ready for a new world of possibilities.

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