How to Become a Productive Programmer - 6 Pro Tips.

how to become a productive programmer - heading

Programming is no easy task. After all, sitting in front of a computer for five to nine hours a day can be a bit tiring. At times, it can become hard to write more code. Sometimes, you could find yourself staring at a blank screen, confused and tired, just wanting to complete one daunting task. Or maybe you call yourself a programmer, but you can't seem to build anything meaningful.

If this is your life story, or you want to get better at what you already do, then allow me to help. I know programming isn't an easy task. And sometimes, you just can't find ideas for new programs. There are a lot of things I learnt while programming for over five years though, which I have decided to share with you today.

There are some things I may say in this post that you have heard before, and there are somethings here that you would find to be new. But the thought behind what I say here is absolutely real and genuine. So grab a soda, or a cup of coffee as I tell you how you can be a more productive programmer.

#1 R-E-L-A-X

Staring at that computer for an hour isn't going to get you anywhere. In fact, it will only get you more confused. One of the things that I have noticed though is that if you take time off a problem, it will definitely help you figure out a solution. 

Whenever you face a challenge while you code, and you've been working at it non stop for 3 hours. Just... just stop! Go to bed or get some snacks and watch TV. If you like, listen to music for 30 minutes, or take a relaxing shower. This will reset your brain and help you find a quick solution.

Also, one thing you should aim to do is get enough sleep. Working for 14 hours straight saying it makes you feel dedicated or focused is absolute "poop, deep fried on a stick". Make sure you sleep at least 6 hours and if you can 8-9 hours a day. This will really help you.

#2 Create A Suitable Environment

You may have heard this tip elsewhere which is fine. But this cannot be emphasized enough. Working upside down on your couch will do you no good. And coding in a playground may even be worse. You have to create an environment that you will be comfortable in. 

I'll tell you one thing they won't tell you elsewhere. An absolutely quiet environment may do you no good. You need to build an environment that attains to your taste. Do you like plushies? Put one on your desk. Do you like a cold room? Drop the temperature. Does your chair make your butt hurt? Buy a new one. When it comes to work, you should not be afraid to invest.

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#3 Equip Yourself

Just like the last tip, this cannot be emphasized enough. A computer that takes 30 minutes to load Android Studio, Visual Studio or Komodo will only frustrate you. If you have enough money to invest in a new computer, get one. 

You will also definitely need some accessories. One thing I absolutely recommend is a lamp. Chances are, you have that already. A clock can also help you, after all, it's no fun to get out of "the zone" just to check the time. You may also need a charger for your phone or a stand for it. Lucky for you, I've put up some of my equipment from Amazon:

Tools like these really help my workflow, and they definitely help me to stay focused. You can find other cool chargers here.

#4 Listen to Music

If you don't already listen to music, I can tell you that you're definitely missing out. Whether it's classical music, jazz, pop, or maybe even country or rock, music will definitely help you stay focused. Also, I recommend that you invest in good noise cancelling headphones. Distractions during coding can be absolutely annoying. You have to admit, a bird tapping on your window or the sound of a drip of water from a sink can be absolutely annoying. So you can cancel these noises out with a pair of great headphones. Here are some of my top picks from Amazon:

#5 Manage Your Time

Sometimes you just can't avoid distractions. Phone notifications, TV episodes, and the Internet can chomp down on your time. Therefore, you will need to take control of how you spend your time. The truth is, in coding, every minute counts. If you don't utilize that minute to its full potential, you could end up missing out. Managing how you spend your time, whether it's with an app or with a schedule can really boost your productivity as a programmer.

#6 Split Your Projects

I call this technique chunking. It is one of the most effective things to do while coding. When you have a huge project, break it down. I have noticed that breaking your projects into smaller posts will motivate you, turning you into a really productive programmer. Let's say you have a project to complete over a duration of 1 week. What you can do is split that project into 4 bits. When you complete one bit, reward yourself. This will help you stay dedicated.

Sometimes, coding can be absolutely infuriating. And things are worse when you end up producing no results. If you apply these 6 tips above you will surely become a more productive programmer. I'd like to conclude with this quote by Kent Beck:

“I'm not a great programmer; I'm just a good programmer with great habits.” 
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