Ways Developers Can Boost Their Productivity

Ways Developers Can Boost Their Productivity

The tips mentioned here will give a big boost to your productivity. The time you save using these tips can be well utilized for other activities. Small tasks that are repetitive add up the amount of time spent overall. If you are writing a code in any programming language, the flow of every change made can involve saving the file, building the project in an IDE and deploying the application. This means that every change will take you approximately 30 seconds before you receive feedback on it and make further changes. 30 seconds may not seem like a lot, but when you do the same thing around 500 times a day, that amounts to a lot of time you could have spent doing something else. If counted over the year, it can even sum up to extra days. 

This should bring to the picture how much saving even a few seconds on each task matters. A lot of the tasks of the developers that are repetitive can be done quickly with automation. If automating can save even 30 seconds per task, it can add up to days worth of time at the end of the year. Automating multiple such repetitive tasks can save up to weeks worth of time. So let us look at the easy steps you can take to save your time as a developer. 

Automate Repetitive Tasks With The Help Of Scripts

Automation of repetitive tasks can be one of the major ways of boosting your productivity. This is doable well with the use of scripts. Bash Scripts is the most commonly used tool for this purpose. This tool makes the task of chaining multiple commands together easier, these are the commands that you most commonly use on a daily basis. 

A major part of modern development happens with the help of a command line, using several commands. It requires the integration of an IDE, but it is first important to get the knowledge of how the command line should be used since it is scriptable. Typing a command is also faster than clicking numerous times in an IDE for performing the same task. 

If you notice that you are doing some task repetitively or writing the same command over and over, you should take into consideration using a script for it. If this is done right, the script will be running the commands in an orderly manner, never making a mistake. The script may be able to complete the task in one second when you may be doing it in 30. 

If you use a script, you will not have to remember complex syntaxes or common commands, shell aliases can also be useful for that. You can start by configuring numerous microservices that are independent locally. Doing these manually is time-consuming but a breeze with the help of scripts. 

Instead Of Printing Variables Use A Real Debugger

Learning the correct use of a debugger can supercharge your productivity. A task that could take days can be completed merely within a few hours with the help of a debugger. This is useful for debugging and building features. Debuggers can also come in handy when you want to explore codebases that you are unfamiliar with. Results will become easily visible even if the logic is complicated and the code writing is unfamiliar to you. It will make it easier to find the logic to convoluted and complex code by running it one line at a time, seeing how changes are coming about. 

If you have used a function to output the value of a variable onto the console in any language in order to understand what is happening in your code, you can understand that it may be difficult to debug complex code. You may output one variable at one time and need to write several statements to really get a good sense of the working of the code. If there is any sort of modification in the value, you need to output it again. You can sometimes feel like you are piling around in the dark. And sometimes you may end up committing these changes by accident.

There is a limit to the human working memory, meaning that once you have printed enough variables manually, you may forget the values and may have to print them again, or make a note of it somewhere, making updates as they change. Trying to remember various values will take up your focus, focus you could be directed towards making the code work, keeping track of best practices or the cleanliness of your code. 

With the help of a debugger, you will be able to set a breakpoint in your program and then run it. When the control of the program reaches that breakpoint, you will be able to see all the variables till the scope of that line. You will not have to juggle between values in your mind. By taking one smart action, you will be able to effectively keep track of everything instead of using the console to check one value at a time. 

You will acquire experience in debugging over time, you will even get insights into the framework of debugging and its library code. A debugger will help you understand what is happening with the help of frameworks and library codes, regardless of how accurately or correctly it is described in their required documentation. A complex concept will take up a lot of reading for understanding but a debugger will help you get the same understanding more quickly. 

Use The Fuzzy Finder

Many developers find themselves working with codebases that are monolithic and have a large number of files. It can become difficult to find a single file hidden among numerous files and in complex paths. You can either look for the file yourself or take the help of a developer who is familiar with the codebase you are using for your project. Instead, you can make use of a fuzzy finder. You can type in the file name and it will do the rest of the work. Ctrl+P will activate the fuzzy finder and then you just have to provide it with the name of the file to be searched. It works in VS Code as well and gives instant results. 

Use Hot Reload And Autosave

If you write a code for your web service or application but do not use PHP, you may be following the below-given steps whenever you want to make changes to your code.

  • Making the change
  • Saving the file
  • Compiling the code
  • Restarting the server

Some environments require the re-deployment of the code and waiting for it to complete. This can take a minute or at least 30 seconds each time, adding up at the end of the day. With the help of hot reload and Autosave, this can be drastically reduced. When you make a change, the IDE will automatically Dave the file. The changes will also be detected and compiled automatically in the background. When you run the server, it will restart or run the updates code in less than 5 seconds.  

Automate Testing

Testing code manually can be time-consuming, and it is not an enjoyable task. But it is always a part of the work of a developer. When the SDLC model was being followed, the time for testing was the same time it took to analyze the code as well as write the phases of the application. One change in a single line can have a big impact on the rest of the application, and it will also take a lot of time to test. 

Automation of testing can be achieved in different ways. Bowser’s test can be pointing and clicking through the application mimicking a real user. Automating tests will make it faster than testing your code manually. Even the automated test takes a long time, you can just watch it run or do something else during that time, increasing productivity. Some cases may have to involve manual testing. But if you have to manually do testing that involves doing the same steps again, you can automate that part to save time. 

Sharing Your Work Early With A Public URL

A node application can get a public URL. It does not require you to configure your network and can be done with a single command. This will allow you to share your work with other collaborators at an early stage and get feedback without having to set up the complete deployment pipeline. If you share your progress early, you will have to spend less time working and making the changes needed. If you share a public URL of the application you are working on and work on the debugging live, a collaborator will be able to help you by sending a request.

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