Thursday, August 12, 2010

How can do developers make their coding time as effective as possible?

(This post is part of my Quora reblogging experiment)

Coding is hard. procrastination is easy. How do squeeze the most productivity out of the time you spend coding?

The techniques I use are all for minimizing distraction and for making getting back into flow easier:

  • Block off as much uninterrupted time as possible
  • Keep a list of TODOs in a Google Spreadsheet with mini-tasks (as small as reasonably possible) so I can glance at it when returning from a break. I always keep the cursor on the current task I'm working on.
  • When doing backend work, I try to scope all tasks so I can see the effect in the UI. The ability to visualize the intended result makes long-winded work bearable.
  • Test-driven development: Write unit tests first, then try to make them green. A clear goal keeps the mind on track.

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