How to Code Productively: Best Practices from a Senior Developer

Hey! In this article I want to discuss a few important things, at least from my perspective, which could potentially boost your productivity as well as make you to avoid unwanted results!

Coding shortcuts

I often see developers navigating to a known file by using tree view in PHPStorm, navigating to classes and their methods by searching them in whole project, scrolling to the bottom of the page by using scrollbars instead of using simple and yet powerful shortcuts! What I actually want you to focus on is that shortcuts are not invented for fun, they are invented to save your time!

If you are working with PHPStorm and you are willing to see how productive you are, go to: Help -> Productivity Guide.

Know your coder toolset

It is often observed that developers are using additional software programs/ utilities to solve their problems, like for example separate VCS and diff tools, old school debugging methods and so on which today are embedded into all popular IDEs.

Consider exploring your favourite IDE and you might save some space or RAM which you are missing sometimes as well as finding things which might be really handy for you but you simply don’t realise it now!

Healthy Mental Approach to Coding

There might be zillion reasons of why this happens, but as for me the main reasons are background processes running in my mind or I didn’t get enough sleep.

Of course you can use brute force to deal with your code but most likely the code that will be produced by you will go to trash. In this case it is advised to better concentrate and spend time block on the worry which is affecting you, like for example financial problems, arguments with wife and so on.

As another simple solution you can use is by picking pair partner. From my experience I can say that as soon you sit down next to someone else the chances that you will brake through your blockage are very high as well as getting back your momentum! Its odd, but it works and most likely affected by physiological change when you work with someone else. Just try it yourself!

Don’t rush when coding!

Certainly, there is time when rush will work out, but it’s not always true as you can’t make yourself code and think faster than you normally do, two or three days might be ok, but that depends on each individual person.

Late code aka “3AM code”

This is the type of code you want to avoid but will not always be able to fight against if you are doing overtime projects. This kind of code most likely will bite you back as it happened to me when I was on my business trip to Canary Islands last year and I felt so damn dedicated and wanted to get stuff done! So, instead of going to enjoy sunny day and surfing I continued to review and rework my buggy code next day.

Being in the “Zone” for coding

It is stated that being in the zone can be good and bad, but since I’m feeling a bit exhausted now and don’t really want to mess with this article by writing it in the late hours — it is up to you to find more about what it is and how it works!

Csikszentmihalyi’s flow:

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