Nowadays, there are a lot of courses teaching to be a good programmer. However, necessary skills for development in this area come with an experience and established lifestyle. How to make your spring more productive after time conversion? Which skills will boost your daily productivity, and which ones will interfere with a development process? We have prepared a list of top tips and have interviewed some specialists.
Plan Your Time
Surely you know, how little of joking a popular joke among top managers “Now I work 8 hours a day. But soon I will become a director and will work 12 hours”, contains. If your work/life balance is at the limit, and if not to avoid increasing number of tasks, you should install a time manager on any of your gadgets. Calculate how long it takes you to accomplish a task, and divide your working day according to this.
For example, in the morning, it is better to do a big and important task, not a chain of little ones, as it is usually. The point is that having fulfilled a difficult piece of work, the brain gets free of thinking about this task for all day.
You get the feeling of free time, and you can use it for something less of priority.
You also waste less time on procrastination, knowing that your family or favourite dishes wait for you at home.
Yurii Kozii, Agile Coach, a partner in ScrumGuides and a lecturer KMBS has some life hacks for time management.
“Having moved from a corporative management work to private business, I hoped naively that at last I would have more time. But actually, your independent work requires much more concentration than work of a manager.
The reason of procrastination is tasks, either uncomfortable, or incomprehensible, or too big. To focus on one of them, I use pomodoro techniquе. The main point of the technique consists of 25-minute work intervals with 5-minute breaks between them. It is quite a tough exercise, when you focus immediately, close the mail, etc. The efficiency raises at least twice.”
However, Yurii recommends not using it too much, in order to give you a chance of living without a constant ticking of a timer.
“After all, work is only work”, he says.
Eating and Sleeping are Elementary, My Dear Watson
An ex-employee of Microsoft, Livio De La Cruz considers that programmers are quite careless about good nutrition and sleeping. Working evening hours, overtimes or a couple of sleeping hours, that is all. All these things affect productivity of work significantly.
Who, at least once, worked in such a rhythm, knows how it is funny to deal with the same working routine next day. That’s why do not underestimate your hours for sleeping. 7-8 hours is what you need.
In addition, include breakfast in your to-do-list, because having morning meals restores glucose level, necessary for brain functioning.
Much research even points out that people having breakfast are more resistant to stress and are happier.
Coming to work, get into the habit of having a nice glass of water next to you. And moreover, you should drink it. Two litres of water accelerate brain activity by 14%. And admit, it is a not a bad argument for those who deal with intellectual activity.
Do Not Stick to the Working Chair
How to eat an elephant? Bit by bit. The same as a long working day, you should divide it by short breaks on which you will want to accomplish your tasks even more.
But keep stoical: have a walk around a park, remember how to hold a tennis racket, or simply walk in the open space, stretch your back and close your eyes.
Residents of the platform Stack Exchange consider that you should take a break for one hour and two short breaks for a quarter of an hour per one working day.
Value Useful Habits
Scientist proved that a person needs 15 min to get into the so-called “flow state”, when your brain starts functioning actively over a task accomplishing.
In the book of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi “Flow. The Psychology of Optimal Experience” they point out an important detail: when a person is passionate, he does not feel any tiredness or lack of fantasy. What we do, involves us totally. This condition is called a flow.
There are people who have owned it practically since their birth, but the majority needs to train a bit to “catch a flow”. However, after mastering such a skill, you will feel that you can be really happy at work.
So, if you have any special habits, without doubt arm yourself with them, if they do not annoy your colleagues. Innocent twisting of a pen in the hands, a favourite transformer next to you, staring at the leaves behind the window will be quite good.
Music lovers may listen to their gigabytes of music, but here we should mention that something calm and lounge is good for stimulation of brain activity. We guess, you know it very well too, if you tried to work under “Megadeth” at least once.
An important remark: when you code, too active music creates an illusion of fulfilling two tasks simultaneously in your brain. Avoid such multitasking.
Make Notes of Your Ideas
Write down everything, short notes will help organize your thoughts, guide you in a right direction, and not let you forget something important.
For making notes there are special tools such as Evernote, Onenote, TheBrain. But search for your individual alternative, it may be either Google Calendar, reminders in your phone, or just a board on the wall.
One more bonus of such notes is that the brain produces endorphins after completing a task. And it is not important whether you cross it out from your note-book or delete a tick from your gadget.
Quite a lot of programmers sometimes think that they are able to identify at once how the function will work. If you are not one of them, and you want first to check how it really works, save your time and your client’s, do not put it into function from “a” to “z”. You will improve everything when you like the feature in functioning. If this is just a test version, you may have a rough copy. Later you will polish everything when you search and correct bugs. At this moment, your patience, understanding employed technologies, and even the ability to stay calm in stressful situations will be useful.
The more you study on the courses, at work, on your own, the more you develop your far sightedness.
Mykhailo Holoborodko, a developer of the company Zuman, who created a very successful project “Ukrzen”, told that he was making sketches before he started implementing his ideas.
“Talking with people, something I saw or heard inspired me. I tried to remember this and to fix in my notes, although my ideas were mainly flying through my head. I created a draft project and I implemented it when I had time. Also, associative chains helped.
Put Things in Order
Not the one you have thought about. Although, another one is important too. Time for “clearing a code” is priceless for a programmer, and later it will work on you. You do not like to live in a mess, so the same analogy works with a code. Although it is a secondary process of programming, but it is much more comfortable to work in a formatted code in which there is no “rubbish” and functions are located in their logical places.
Exchange Your Experience
No matter how much experience you have, there is still somebody who knows more than you.
Read blogs and forums about programming, share your thoughts. It really works.
Even while you learn from others, you remember long forgotten topics, functions and techniques. Share your knowledge in private communication and at meetings, attend events where you can know something new.
Markiian Yuskiv, .NET Developer in SoftServe considers that we should always share our experience.
“One person cannot be competent in all areas. However, he or she may have more knowledge in one or another. That’s why it is useful.
Currently, I am on a business trip in the USA, here people share their experience very efficiently. For instance, there are meetings for developers for 5-7 people, who work between themselves. And every day, for not longer than half of an hour, they exchange information or look for answers to the questions coming up in the process of work. Everything is quite traditional, but they ask questions often and eagerly.”
May the force be with you! :)