Best practice, as it were, is best practiced whence much practice has been done without consideration for it. Same applies to fine tuned syntax. If we focus on the t's and the i's, we miss the p's and q's. In other words write code that works, regardless. Now we begin to deconstruct and study that program. What makes it tick?
We might say, 'well you wrote it, why deconstruct it?' Answer: Because it forces us to look backwards through our own code which is analogous to proofreading from the end to the beginning of a manuscript. We find our mistakes, and often learn through the exercise of correcting those mistakes.
Eventually we become cognizant and conscientious of our code constructs. This is when to kick in best practice protocol. Why now? Because we understand what is expected and why from experience and retrospective examination of our own code. Until this time, any application of best practices is purely rote learning, and a garden path to black and white thinking.