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What Is Boilerplate Code In Programming And Why Do We Use It?

  • Post published:April 21, 2022

Boilerplate code is not a new term in the field of information technology. Yet, for many, it is the first time they have heard of the term. Therefore we will explain boilerplate code in programming in detail. We’ll cover everything from the boilerplate history to the functionality and advantages.

Let’s start with a basic definition!

What Is Boilerplate Code In Programming?

Sections of codes that are deployed repeatedly in multiple areas with no further alterations, or in other words, a unit of writing that is reused over and over again without further alterations.

Here’s an example of boilerplate code in Java: it is common for a typical java framework to contain hundreds of lines of code. Take this example:

public static void main(String args[])

Java code sets must contain this and it is used repeatedly in multiple pages of code with little to no changes. Hence, you can call this boilerplate code in Java.

Here’s a simple example of boilerplate HTML code that will make it easier to understand:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html class=”no-js” lang=””>
<meta charset=”utf-8″>
<meta http-equiv=”x-ua-compatible” content=”ie=edge”>


<meta name=”description” content=””>
<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial- scale=1, shrink-to-fit=no”>
<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”css/main.css”>


<p>Hello world! This is HTML5 Boilerplate.</p>
<script src=”js/vendor/modernizr-{{MODERNIZR_VERSION}}.min.js>

Boilerplate History

In programming, you are familiar with the definition of boilerplate code in programming. Have you ever thought about where this boilerplate term actually comes from?

In the 1980s, the term made its first appearance in the newspaper industry. Text was stamped against a metal plate on the boiler, so it is called boilerplate, and printed text is called boilerplate text.

Once the boilerplate was ready for a printing press, it was delivered to newspaper presses and companies in the United States.

Western Newspaper Union, the largest supplier, continued to deliver this boilerplate to many newspapers until the 1950s, so that they could use it.

Boilerplate code in programming was introduced to speed up development. To save time and effort, programmers reuse codes to deploy changes.

It’s important to remember that there are plenty of universal tactics and patterns that all developers use and their websites share.

Do You Know?

Boilerplate code is not limited to web development. In addition, it is also being used in Machine Learning (ML)/Artificial Intelligence (AI) as there are now various forms of frameworks and libraries.

What Are Boilerplate Code Characteristics?

The following factors explain why boilerplate is the perfect solution for both large and small projects:

Boilerplate Code Characteristics

Key Functions of Boilerplate Code In Programming

Boilerplate code consists of:

  • The book provides standard examples and perfect solutions.
  • Since it improves the quality of codes, there are fewer chances for bugs and errors.
  • There is no need to rewrite codes over and over. Copy-pasting boilerplate code in Java, HTML, etc. will reduce development speed.
  • When the program is written, a consistent code style is followed.

Important Features Of Boilerplate For Larger Projects (Production Ready)

In this section, we will cover important factors that make boilerplate code in Java, HTML, or even PHP a hit. Let’s get started!

  • Documentation that is easy to read and understand
  • Coding standards and rules are followed
  • Easy testing tools and mandatory API modules are included
  • The tool’s CLI (command-line interface) allows for immediate setup and rapid prototyping

*CLI (Command-Line Interface): This is a text-based command-line interface for delivering instructions and managing operating system functions.

  • It encourages code-splitting
  • The code structure has a high level of abstraction
  • The system is highly scalable
  • For setup, it allows implementation of server and client code
  • Structure and navigation of the routing
  • Supports localization and internationalization to the fullest extent possible


Large companies create their own boilerplate code to make them useful for the entire software development cycle (during programming).

Related: 6-Stages SDLC Vs. 3-Stages SDLC

How Does Boilerplate Works For Smaller Projects (Scaffolding)?

These boilerplate codes are also known as “starter kits” or, in professional terms, “*scaffolding”. It pays close attention to new projects development by incorporating fast prototyping and creating the elements required.

Therefore, boilerplate code in programming for small projects promotes less functionality and is not scalable.

In addition, it does wonders in less time, as the code structure is not extended in any way. In addition, there is no need to deploy additional utilities and tools since only core features are created.

*Scaffording – A meta-programming technique for developing database-based software. This technique is readily supported by MVC frameworks. In programming, scaffolding automates codes, files, and folders.

How To Write Boilerplate Code In Java, HTML, Or Any Other Language?

Boilerplate code in programming

Here are some tips to help you write boilerplate code in programming:

  • By copying and pasting boilerplate code, the development process is more efficient.
  • Write boilerplate code by yourself, then generate codes using your own boilerplate code.
  • Another option is to formulate boilerplate code and pass it to various parameters to generate codes.
  • With the text replacement method, you can deploy new codes diligently.
  • There are many plugins/tools for writing codes. Among them are the constructor method, getter/setter method, toString method, the overloaded base class/interface method, and the database access method. 
  • Manual coding can be avoided by developers.

Impressive Information!

Boilerplate and template have the same meaning to many people. Templates, however, provide the layout/structure of the document, whereas boilerplates facilitate images and text.

Ways To Reduce The Use Of Boilerplate Code In Programming?

Codes in boilerplate are repetitive but compulsory codes, and their reduction isn’t possible for a variety of reasons. We have found two ways to reduce the use, which are as follows:

1- It is recommended that you use annotations – getter/setter is the boilerplate code in Java (Javabean model class). The @getter and @setter annotations can be used to reduce usage.


Original CodeOptimized Code
public class User {
private Long id;

public Long getId() {
return id;
public void setId(Long id) { = id;

public class User {
private Long id;


2- Design patterns can enclose many reusable and repetitive codes. Currently, the line “reading file” can compress the codes, as shown in the table below:

Original CodeOptimized Code
try (BufferedReader reader = new BufferedReader(new FileReader(fileName))) {
    String line;
    while (Objects.nonNull(line = reader.readLine())) {
        // process a line
} catch (IOException e) {
    String message = String.format(“read file(%s) exception”, fileName);
    log.error(message, e);
    throw new ExampleException(message, e);
/** Define method */
public static void readLine(String fileName, Consumer< String> lineConsumer) {
    try (BufferedReader reader = new BufferedReader(new FileReader(fileName))) {
        String line;
        while (Objects.nonNull(line = reader.readLine())) {
    } catch (IOException e) {
        String message = String.format(“read file (%s) exception”, fileName);
        log.error(message, e);
        throw new ExampleException(message, e);

// Use code
readLine(“example.txt”, line -> {
    // Process a line

Why Do We Use Boilerplate Code In Programming?

Boilerplate code in Java

Boilerplate codes are used for the following reasons:

  • Because the codes can be reused, you spend less time on the development cycle. This means the copy-paste facility is just fantastic.
  • There is no need to rewrite codes or think about how to begin the programming again.
  • Say goodbye to adding more libraries now that the libraries are available.
  • Efficacy and speed will be improved.

Wrapping Up!

I hope you understand what boilerplate code in programming is and why it is used. Boilerplate code, whether it’s in Java, HTML, PHP, Python, or any other language, is undoubtedly one of the best practices for developers.