The demand for productive software developers is huge like never before. The expectations from these developers are not only the ability to write code fast but also quality code with good problem-solving skills. Productivity for software developers is subjective and hard to measure.
There are theoretical yardsticks devised to measure the productivity of software developers. One of the commonly used measures is the Line of Code (abbreviated as LOC). LOC is used for making rough estimates of the productivity of software developers.
In this post, I am going to share some of the tips that can guide you to become a productive software developer or software engineer.
Why there is demand for productivity?
The term productivity is defined as the amount of output you churn out compared to input. Being a productive programmer brings tons of benefits both for the developer and the employer.
If a developer is productive, that means higher pay and better office benefits for him or her. Being productive brings popularity among peers and better brand value in the job market. The more productive the employees are, the better the competitive edge the company has to stand amongst the other competitors.
To the employer, it means better returns and higher credibility of his/her organization.
Startups also love productive engineers who not only solve their problems but also solve them faster than others.
Let’s look into the top 10 productivity tips for software developers.
1. Less is more: Lesser the working hours…
It is a general view that the more you spend time on your work, the more it gets done. But working fewer hours can improve your productivity.
When your working hours are shorter, you can keep yourself more focused and incline towards smarter solutions.
When the working hours are shorter, you can keep better track of your tasks. This would mean improved management practices at your desk.
2. Concentration at work place
The task of problem-solving in software development requires a lot of thinking processes. Getting solutions to problems is not always a piece of cake.
It requires time, creativity, and most importantly good environment to think. If you get distracted, you are getting further away from the solutions.
Thus, at workplaces, you require good concentration. It is always better when the environment is silent for problem solvers – software engineers!
Once disturbed, to get back to the track requires another huge quantum of precious time.
3. Leverage performance by automations
Keep monotonous works to the machines. Humans are meant to solve problems.
Use automation tools for your work. Today there are plenty of them to leverage your productivity by automation. It would not only save your time for other important tasks but also not bore you at your workplace.
Write scripts to automate simple and monotonous tasks.
How fast you are at typing, if you are not taking advantage of code generators in your IDEs (Integrated Development Environments), you are not productive enough.
4. The better the mentor, the faster you learn
Learning from mentors not only accelerates the learning process but also imparts the best practices to be followed in the corporate world and standards.
A mentor not only improves your understanding but can also guide you to improve your productivity. Many online platforms offer code mentoring for new software developers and software engineers.
5. Use right SDLC Methodologies
Using the right SDLC methodology is like using the right size of spanner to tighten nuts and bolts.
Today most software development companies look forward to agility as a good practice. Thus the use of scrum is common.
Scrum is an agile development framework that is widely used in the IT industry and is based on sprinting and constant planning, rather than having a single, long milestone (like in waterfall models).
6. Document, document, and document your codes
To be honest, writing code documentation is boring. You will never see it as a productive task if you are new in the field of software development. Documentations do not add any features to your software, rather make your code look too long to read.
You will realize its importance only when you are revisiting your code after a long break. Or you have to redesign your algorithms to fit change requests from your client(s).
In short, writing documentation would make your work maintainable!
Code documentation can also help you to improve the overall productivity of your project. It offers a long-term benefit, and you should always do code documentation.
7. Keep your hands dirty with projects other than office’s projects
Office projects are often large and take a lot of time. Office projects would become a tedious routine over a long period. This makes the office work boring. To overcome this, working on new small projects can be an excellent way to keep your mind fresh.
Hobby projects can reflect more on your own ideas and help you grow as a coder. Not to mention, the side projects can help you learn new skills along the way, which in turn will help you improve your productivity in future projects.
8. Know what you are doing when you are doing it
Premature optimization is a serious issue among the coding community. For real-time projects, optimization is necessary. Other projects, such as games, also require optimization to a certain degree for better user experience, certification for publication, etc.
However, that doesn’t mean you should start optimizing your game in its half-baked state. It’s a good idea to optimize after a good chunk of functionality has been implemented. The late start will help you to avoid unnecessary work and keep you productive.
9. Read, Read and Read
There are many platforms where you can read. But personally, physical books are, at least to me, the best platform to learn new things.
Reading keeps you young. Reading keeps to a relevant cog in the huge wheel of organization.
10. Finaly, sleep when you need sleep.
Working fewer hours can help you remain productive. In the meantime, you also need to get proper sleep. Without proper sleep, you can easily hamper your productivity to a great extent.
Not to mention, improper sleep can also hamper your health and cognitive capabilities.
If you are a software developer, you already know the importance of being productive. With experience comes productivity. If it does not something is wrong either in you or the organization you work for.
If you are not as productive as your seniors do not push yourselves hard. With proper planning and execution, you will see yourself improve over time.
Having a good team also helps you to stay productive. After all, coding projects are mostly team-based and require collaboration on all levels.
Kuzu Zangpo la! I am Sonam Dargay. I am a full-time software developer. Apart from 9-5 office works, I am a tech enthusiast, blogger, and dreamer.
I graduated from the College of Science and Technology(CST), affiliated with the Royal University of Bhutan.