Writing code can be challenging when you have different and conflicting demands on your time. How do you focus on your code without exhausting yourself? You can try the Pomodoro Productivity technique.
What is Pomodoro?
Pomodoro is where you focus on a task like a coding problem for 25 minutes. Then, you take a 5 minute break. After the break, you start another 25 minute round. Break. Repeat. After about 4 rounds, you take an even longer break (20 or 30 minutes). This technique was invented by Fransesco Cirillo. He called it Pomodoro because he used a kitchen timer in the shape of a tomato. Pomodoro is Italian for tomato.
How do you use it for programming
You plan to focus on one programming task or problem at a time. Work for 25 minutes or longer. Some people like to use 45 minutes instead of 25. After you have worked for the planned time, take a break.
When you are writing code, it can be hard to watch the clock and take a break on time. You can use a kitchen timer or apps on your phone or computer. Or you can build your own Pomodoro Timer.
With productivity hack, no one technique fits all. You may need to experiment or tweak before you can get it to work for you. If you work in an office, you can’t stop all of your interruptions. By explaining this technique to your boss and coworkers, they will understand that you are using it to limit your distractions and that they can talk with you when they need to. Alex Mitgusky wrote about how he uses the Pomodoro technique as a programmer.
Programming can be fun and challenging. Writing good code even more so. At times, we can be confused looking at code that we just wrote or code we wrote several months ago. We can write better code by incorporating these four coding habits.
Learn new things
Learning new things can help you elevate boredom. Yes, sometimes programming can get boring. You can fix that by trying out a new tool, technique or programming language. As technology and programming constantly changes, you may be wanting to learn the latest language that everyone is talking about. Try to learn one language at a time. By focusing on a single language, you can learn how to use it and when.
Read about programming and technology. Don’t get your information from only blogs and online magazines. Read books. Books can teach more than a blog post can. Also, read code. Not code included in tutorials but actual published code. By reading the code you copied from Stackoverflow or downloaded from Github, you can learn new ways of writing and organizing your code.
The best way to learn a new programming language or framework is to build something with it. You can start with a tutorial or a throwaway project. Throwaway projects help you learn new skills while creating something new. These projects are for experimenting and learning you don’t publish them.
Share what you have learned
Share with others what you have learned. Write a blog post on the things that you learned from your experimental project. If you don’t like writing, create a video on YouTube or talk at a Meetup. By sharing what you have learned, you may can new insights on what you had created.
Keeping up with new technology can be a full-time job by itself. To keep your programming skills fresh, you should set aside time to learn new things, read about programming and technology, create your own programming experiments and share with others what you have learned.
You can learn CSS Grid with starter projects. They can help to build basic layouts. For most of your projects, you’ll need to build two, three and more column layouts. You can use starter projects to learn how to make these layouts.
Two Column Layout
Start building a two column layout. Two column layouts are quite common on the web. You’ll find them on most websites from blogs to startups.
Three Column Layout
After building a two column layout, you will want to be able to add more columns. Three columns is another common layout that you will need for your projects.
When learning a new layout technique, start small and build more complex layouts as you learn how to do it. By building with starter projects, you can see how you would use it in your real world applications. Not all of your projects will be simple. They may require more columns or additional features like a hero image or even a carousel. Build on your new skills by creating a production ready CSS Grid layout.
How do you document your projects? Do you keep a programmer’s notebook? As you write code, you will have ideas, notes, code snippets and other things that you have learned. You’ll want to keep code that you didn’t use and save for later. By keeping a programmer’s notebook, you’ll create a personal reference that you can use for other projects and documenting your code for your users.
What tools do you use for writing documentaion?
You can use pen and paper to create a bullet journal or collect your notes and ideas. If you want to use an app, I have collected 4 tools that you can choose from.
Boostnote is a note taking app for programmers. You can take notes and collect code snippets. Boostnote is customizable and usable anywhere. You can write notes on your laptop and share with your mobile devices.
Quiver is a programmer’s notebook. You can mix code, text, Markdown in a note. You can install Quiver on your Mac and iOS devices.
Use Bear Writer to create notes and prose. You can organize your notes any way you can. This app is available on your Mac and iOS devices.
Write the Docs
Write the Docs is an open source community dedicated to creating wonderful documentation. They provide guides on writing great documentation, conferences and meetups. Write the Doc is build using the Sphinx static site generator.
Whether you use pen and paper or an app to document your projects, you’ll have a reference that can help you better understand the problems, solutions and things you have learned. Writing documentation for yourself or your users makes you a better programmer. If you want to write better documentation for yourself and your users, Mark has collected tools and resources for creating great documentation.
PlainJS is a collection of functions, plugins and code snippets. This resource is maintained by Pixabay.
Vanilla JS Toolkit