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Getting started with web development brings in a new set of concerns, one of which is productivity. How can we maximize our results whilst minimizing our efforts?
Productivity is such an all-encompassing topic that the entire web developer community struggles with it from time to time, not just the newcomers. Many end up thinking that experiencing burnout in the face of tight deadlines and regurgitating repetitive tasks is part of the program. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
There are ways to enhance your web development workflow. You will be able to save your time and energy while creating better and better work in the future because you won’t be wasting it on unnecessary steps.
Follow the tips below suggested by the industry professionals to become a more productive web developer.
The first step to optimizing any workflow is to get rid of anything that can break your focus. Web developmental skills demand intensive attention, and there is no way around that. Having too much clutter on your desk or a non-work-related chatbox open in your browser is sure to divert your attention.
As a web developer, you are also a problem solver. Software engineering, web designing, coding, etc. all have to deal with problems of high complexity. Whether you’re working on back end web development or front end, once you’re in the groove, the work gets done quickly and efficiently.
If this is disturbed by external interference, it can be hard to get back into it. So, a good tip is to keep your workspace clean and organized. You can do so in a number of ways like using boards to pin current tasks, having a minimalistic arrangement of office supplies, having a checklist of your projects, and more.
The main idea is to keep it simple but not drab as a dreary environment can affect your mood and be counterintuitive.
No doubt that at first glance, this will seem counterproductive if you haven’t come across this tip before. But it really works. Many of you have already noticed but the focus you have at the beginning of your work sort of dissipates with time.
It can lead to those exploding moments of frustration where we end up groaning at our screen or where we just find ourselves staring off into space. Working shorter hours will encourage you to keep your focus on the objective for the whole duration because you will be cautious of the time restrictions.
You will feel more motivated to get the work done quickly, so you will end up finding smarter ways to do the same thing. Working less will also open up your schedule for future learning and developing your skills more.
The key to working fewer hours is to get rid of bad work habits. For example, if you find yourself using inefficient codes, which stretches out the time it takes to compile, spend time on updating them. The extra minutes spent here will save you hours down the line. That is what it means to work smart, not hard.
This is a continuation of our work smart, not hard principles. As a web developer, you will get so many projects of the same type where the basic functional aspects are the same. In that case, you probably reuse codes and you are completely allowed to do so.
But locating codes by opening up and checking each old project is a very inefficient method of doing this. So, start by organizing your codes and create a collection of reusable codes. For this, you can simply create a folder or directory of source code and text files in your computer’s hard drive.
But this can get convoluted fast if there is a large number of files. For a more efficient way, you can save your code snippets onto IDEs or source code editors. Nowadays, many come up with snippet plugins as well like in Notepad++.
To take it a real step further, you can even use a private code repository system to be able to see older versions of your code. It will help you view your evolution as a programmer.
Whichever method you’re building your snippet collection, ensure they have the following functionalities:
· Make them searchable
· Categorize in terms of priority
· Use syntax highlighting to increase readability
This is a time saver but it is not for everyone. Many developers avoid frameworks because they will inevitably have extra functions you won’t be using. It will still affect your website speed though due to the large log of codes.
The thing to keep in mind here is if a framework can give you more positives than negatives, it is worth it to try adopting one. Frameworks are time savers because they provide solutions to common problems, such as standard web page layouts or browser compatibility features.
They also have community-developed tools and extensions that enhance overall development. For beginners especially, good web development frameworks can be a great help for delivering quality content.
This is because the code in the frameworks is written using up to date practices and reviewed and tested by a large community of skilled and passionate developers. Someone starting out will adopt these practices and design patterns without even actively trying.
A reigning problem within the web development community is premature optimization. Optimization is a necessary step for real-time projects. And it is required in other projects to a certain degree, for example, in game development, you need it to get certification for publishing or for bettering the user experience.
However, many web developers fall into the trap of optimizing too far ahead. Some may even call this a way of procrastinating tasks you actually need to be getting done. The trivial aspects should be left for the final stage so that you can focus on the important tasks of your projects.
If you get caught up in making a half-complete project efficient, you will later find you have wasted time on fixing things that have no bearing on the end result. It can be tempting, like when you get the urge to fix a typo while messaging but you need to prioritize functionality over-optimization. Once a baseline has been met, you can start optimizing.
One of the causes of developer burnout is the constant repetition of tasks. Oftentimes, we get stuck with one project, and working on only one thing can get tedious. It’s hard to get your head in the game when it’s the same game over and over.
The human mind requires a certain amount of stimuli to stay engaged. That is why, we as developers, try to do all we can to keep our users entertained on our sites, apps, etc. to keep them staying longer. So, to keep your mind fresh, try taking on projects that require you to learn something new.
Or consider adopting passion projects on the side with the goal to learn in the first place. These projects will help you hone the kind of skills you want which will allow you to take on future projects that are more your speed.
Introducing new stimuli will keep your mind fresh and active for ongoing projects. On the plus side, you will also be increasing your versatility as a successful and technically enriched web developer.
Try not to over-complicate your job. Take on what you can comfortably do and do well. It is all too easy to get overzealous and take on a heavy load of projects. So, remember to pace yourself. Taking on too much will work against you. It will not only stress you out but you will find yourself cutting corners to meet the deadlines.
The feelings of anxiety will start affecting your work. You will start getting frustrated easily and even simple things can start seeming complicated. You might even start disliking your job.
So, one of the key tips is to keep a limit on the projects you accept. The more you focus on individual projects and hone your skills as a developer, the better you’ll get and the more in demand you will be. Clients will be happy to see your efforts and extend their recommendations. And overall, you will enjoy your job more and for longer.
If you are a web developer starting out or one trying to mitigate the effects of burnout, the importance of workflow productivity is something you can’t ignore. Utilizing these tips will allow you to streamline your workflow and get the most out of your work hours.
However, keep in mind that productivity is a working process and the gains will come with time. Don’t be too hard on yourself and incorporate them slowly. With patience and dedication, you will undoubtedly see yourself becoming a productive web developer.
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