6 Time Management Tips to Increase Productivity for Programmers

Time management is something many people struggle with. There just never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. In today’s article, I will be sharing some excellent time management tips that will improve your efficiency and productivity. I have learned these lessons the hard way and hope that they will benefit you.

1. Don’t read your emails first thing. Unless you are waiting for an urgent email that really is very urgent, avoid reading emails first thing in the morning. This tends to put us into a passive or reactive mood and not the active one we need to be productive and create. Leave the emails for before lunch or late afternoon when your energy is low.

2. Meetings kill productivity. If you can avoid attending meetings, do so. Catch up what was said from a friend. Meetings are one of the biggest productivity killers in the workplace and this is especially true for creative jobs.

3. Get rid of any distractions. The online and technology world has created so many distractions for us. Constant notifications about Facebook, messages, games, etc. are all distractions that you need to eliminate. The best way to be productive is to create a workspace where you won’t be distracted by notifications, unnecessary phone calls, or people that just pop in.

4. Plan the night before. Planning is the key to productivity and efficiency. Write down two or three tasks that you need to accomplish the next day to feel that you were productive. Don’t create long lists because you are setting yourself up for failure.

5. Complete the most important task first. You have your list of tasks that need to be completed, now identify the most important one. That will be what your day starts with. Once that task is completed you feel productive and everything else will just flow.

6. Automate as much as possible. As a programmer, you have the skills and know-how to automate almost anything. Do this for your own tasks and create systems that complete tasks at the click of a button.

Take short breaks every now and then to stimulate blood flow and just give your brain and eyes a rest. If you follow these simple tips, you will become much more productive.

Common Beginner Programming Mistakes to Avoid

It often happens that you don’t notice your own mistakes when programming. You may notice that something is wrong, but finding the problem can take a lot of time and effort which you probably don’t have. To help out all our beginner programmers, we have compiled a list of common mistakes. These can help you avoid them or give you a few starting points when you come across a problem. This article is mostly aimed at C++ programmers, but it can be applied to other coding languages as well.

Mistake #1: You don’t follow a consistent writing style

Our brains can only process a certain amount of information at the same time. If you don’t write with a consistent style, you are making life very difficult for yourself. Make sure that you have consistent indentation, clear conventions for naming things, meaningful names for things, and meaningful but short comments. Use capitals, indentations, etc. to create a style that can become automatic and help you focus on the problem and not how to read the code.

Mistake #2: You write functions that are too big

Big functions are difficult to debug and maintain. If the function is too big, you can’t really understand what itis doing, there are too many interactions, and there are too many paths. A function is too big when it is longer than 50 lines, cannot be explained in one simple sentence, and has more than 8 if statements, looping constructs, and switch statements.

Mistake #3: You write without a plan

Before you jump in and start coding, you should have a plan to follow. Your plan should include specific requirements, room to design the program and interface, and time to design the test. If you work according to a plan, you will make fewer mistakes, know what you are working towards, have your testing ready, and be much more efficient.

Mistake #4: You don’t backup your work

For anyone working with computers in any way, backing up their work and files are essential. It is the same for a programmer. Make sure you do a backup regularly to keep your hard work and don’t lose it because of a power failure.

These are only a few simple mistakes, but if you sort these out, the rest should be easier to fix. Being prepared and having a plan is very important.

Infographic by: stephenhaunts.com

Top Interview Tips for Software Developers

As a software developer, you are probably more interested in learning more about technology, new development tips, and coding languages than how to do a good job interview. It is good to be passionate about your work, but in order to get your dream job where you can just focus on what you love, you need some basic job interview skills. If you want to land that job, you need to know how to answer questions and present yourself properly.

Improve your job interview skills by following these tips:

Have a professional resume. You need your resume to stand out and have all the necessary information and none of the irrelevant information. Your best chance to have a great resume that will get you noticed is to have a professional resume writer compile it. The costs of hiring a professional resume writer is an investment in your future career.

Research the companies you are interviewing with. You should never walk into an interview without knowing more about the company, and the interviewer if you know who it will be, ahead of time. If you can illustrate knowledge about the company and interest in the interviewer and their projects, you will definitely win a few extra points.

Get an inside referral. This is one of the most powerful ways to get an interview. If you can make a connection with someone who already works at the company you want to work for, you are much more likely to get an interview. Your chances of landing the job will also increase phenomenally. Facebook, Twitter, and blogs make it easy to establish a connection with someone.

Learn to solve algorithm-based problems. In most interviews for software developer jobs, you will be asked to solve a programming problem of some sort. If you are not prepared for this, you may be caught off guard and blow the whole thing. Learn to solve these problems and become more comfortable with the process. This will set you another step ahead.

Don’t lie in an interview or your resume, answer questions with full sentences, and prepare answers to known interview questions. These are the last few things to take into account before going for an interview. If you follow these tips, you will have a successful interview.