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Dec 26, 2022

10 Productivity Tips for Software Developers

Mahesh Chand


Do you find yourself not having enough time in a day? Why isn't the work getting done? And why is it taking so long? If these questions sound familiar, you're not alone. Productivity is very important also while working from home. Staying productive at work can be a challenge, but there are some tips that can help you get more productive. 

  1. Set goals, track your progress, and celebrate wins.
  2. Pair program for better collaboration.
  3. Embrace the suck and go out of your comfort zone.
  4. Schedule time for learning and unstructured thinking.
  5. Make time for fun at work to make work more fun.
  6. Learn from smarter people than you.
  7. Treat yourself like a product.
  8. Don’t reinvent it.
  9. Cut down on meetings and other interruptions to be more productive.
  10. Try to finish tasks that has started.

I guarantee if you go through these tips and follow them, you will find bunch of extra time every day and you will never complain about not having enough time.

Set goals, track your progress, and celebrate wins

One of the most important daily tasks is to set goals, break down into smaller tasks and try to finish tasks on time.

  • Set goals.
  • Break down your goals into smaller steps.
  • Track your progress toward each step.
  • Celebrate your wins along the way, even if they're small — it's what gets you through to the next milestone!

Pair program for better collaboration

When it comes to developer productivity, there are many approaches that can help you get the most out of your time. Pair programming is one method that has shown to have a positive impact on not only team productivity but also employee satisfaction and happiness.

When pairing with another developer, you can work on more complex problems and code together in parallel instead of sequentially. The benefits don't end there: pair programming allows for better communication between developers, as well as more accountability for each other's work because both people will understand how the code works. This creates trust between them and gives them confidence in each other's abilities as well as their own.

  • Embrace the suck and go out of your comfort zone.
  • You will learn more by doing something you are not good at, or that is not in your job description.
  • Learning new things outside of what you normally do allows you to gain a wider perspective on processes and requirements, which often leads to better solutions for individual problems.
  • Each new release of a tool or language has new features and improvements related to productivity and performance. Make sure you stay up to date with the latest versions and upgrade yourself with these new features.

Schedule time for learning and unstructured thinking

Learning is the best way to stay relevant. 

To stay at the top of your game and be able to provide excellent service, you need to keep learning. It's not enough to use your skills; you need to know how they work and what new ways of using them are possible. But learning isn't just about technical skills or knowledge—it's also about keeping up with the latest trends in programming languages and frameworks, collaborating with other developers on projects, evangelizing new technologies within your company, etc.

Learning will help free up more time for creativity.

Learning can feel like an interruption from your normal workflow because it requires unstructured thinking time: reading articles online (or books), watching videos on YouTube or taking classes at a local college or university on topics that interest you. But in reality this sort of unstructured thinking is what allows us as programmers (and humans in general) to be creative problem solvers!

Make time for fun at work to make work more fun

This is a great tip for making your work more fun. It’s simple, but it can make a big difference in how you feel about your job. Your employer should be happy to see you having fun at work!

This tip works best if you have a good sense of humor and enjoy laughing with others. It’s also helpful if you have some time on your hands during the day; otherwise, it may be hard or impossible to follow through with this tip depending on how busy everyone else is.

Learn from smarter people than you

You should always be learning from smarter people than you. They'll help you see the world in a new way and give you a fresh perspective on your own skills.

They can also teach you things that they've learned along their journey that make them successful in their field. Some of those things may not apply to what you do, but others might be exactly what you need to get ahead of your competition or boost productivity at work.

Make sure to find out what skills they have that are different than yours—these could be key traits for success in the industry, like coding or UX design experience. Ask them how they do things differently from what's considered "best practice." It could be as simple as asking for advice on how to organize yourself more efficiently so that projects don't take as long.

Treat yourself like a product

If you're going to treat your body like a product, you need to take care of it. Keep yourself in good physical and mental shape so that you can keep up with the demands of your job.

Your diet is important for many reasons: not only does it affect how well you feel and think, but it also affects the quality of code that comes out of your brain and fingers. So try to avoid sugar (especially soda), caffeine (especially sugar-free coffee drinks) and alcohol as much as possible. If possible, eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables—they give you energy without leaving a jittery feeling behind. And if possible, exercise regularly—walking for an hour a day will help keep your mind clear while also keeping stress levels down enough so that they don't interfere with learning new things or solving problems at work.

Sleep is another key component here: getting 8 hours per night gives our brains time to process all the information we've been learning throughout the day before acting on it again in the morning when we wake up refreshed instead of groggy from lack of sleep (which affects productivity). And finally take regular breaks during each day; these should be 5–10 minutes long every 90 minutes or so depending on how long it takes before boredom sets in again!

Don't learn new tech until you are good at old one

It's not just your job to learn new technology, it's also your responsibility to keep up with it. If you're on a team of developers, make sure that everyone is staying current on the latest developments in their field. It's important for everyone to know enough about what's going on around them so that they can speak intelligently about their work and ask good questions when needed.

I understand everyone wants to learn new things but its also equally important to be good at the current technology you’re using in your existing projects.

Don’t reinvent it

I’ve seen many developers trying to solve problems themselves even it is taking too much time. Good developers are team players. They not only help other team members but also ask for help. If you are stuck on a problem and working in a team, just ask if someone has already solve that problem before. If you’re working in a team, chances are, someone may already have done that.

We all copy and paste from Google. While Google is a great resource of finding solutions, you want to make sure that the solution you copy is upto date and also a quality solution. You may also want a peer code review on that code before check it in.

Share it

Sharing is the best way to become a good developer. If you have learned something new or solved a problem, don’t forget to let your team know.

Cut down on meetings and other interruptions to be more productive.

Half of the productivity is staying focused and away from distractions!

Meetings are a waste of time. Meetings are a distraction. Meetings are a waste of money, resources, people’s time and energy, space and more!

Many developers agree on this. While most meetings are important to understand not only the business, other stakeholders, but also let you collaborate with other members. But if there is a meeting that adds no value to you, you may want to skip those. 

If you have a choice to schedule meetings, schedule meetings in time when you are not productive. For example, meetings are great for afternoons when you can’t focus on coding.

Social media and mobile apps are your biggest distraction

During work time, you may want to stay away from social media and other apps. Keep your mobile phones off or notifications off during work hours. If you must check your social media and phone, you may want to group them. For example, allocate 30 minutes twice a day when you want to check your social media and other apps. Try to schedule this time when you are not productive.

Allocate time for emails

Emails can also be a big distraction. If your job is not replying to real-time emails, you may want to set aside some time for emails. You don’t need to reply to emails right away. Put some time aside each couple of hours to reply to emails.

Try to finish tasks at once

How many times we start different tasks and leave them halfway through? It is proven that to restart a task again, it may take more than 20 minutes to get back on the same page when you left it last time. If you can finish your current task, its much productive.

Keep track of time

The best way to measure productivity is to keep track of your time spent on each activity. You may want to calculate time spend on each activity weekly. For example, if you work 40 hours a week, check how many hours did you spend on meetings, emails, and other non development related tasks. If you find that you are spending too much time on meetings, you may want to discuss with your manager to show that you had spent 15 hours in just meetings in a week and figure out if you can cut down any time on meetings.

These productivity tips will help you boost your productivity at work - with good results!

  • Put it all on your calendar.
  • Delegate tasks to colleagues, if possible.
  • Focus on one thing at a time (and then move onto the next).
  • Clear away distractions, such as windows that open up and close automatically or notifications popping up on-screen every few seconds.


I hope these tips help you boost your productivity at work!

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