Whether you’re an experienced programmer or just a novice, these are some rules every software developer should follow to ensure productivity and a clear objective. By following these, you’re taking control of your profession and ensuring that every job is completed on time, with maximum quality.
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1. Prioritize Your Time and Projects
Prioritizing your time is essential to the success of any project. Spending too much time idling or browsing social media can cause missed deadlines or a scramble at the last minute to meet them.
When you take on a new project, make an estimate of how many hours it will take you to finish it. With an estimate in place, you can allocate time each day to the task without overwhelming yourself as the deadlines approach.
Forbes has created an excellent list of eight time management tips for software developers, among these being “Plan Daily Downtime” and “Prioritize Tasks”.
Planning downtime can save you from experiencing “burn-out”. Burn out can create disinterest in a project, and you may find that your work quality drops once bur out sets in. Take some time off throughout the day to keep your ideas fresh and the workload manageable.
2. Use A Wireframe Tool
The advantages of using a wireframe tool cannot be overstated. They allow for greater organization of projects, sharing and collaboration tools, and the ability to create a roadmap for the entire project.
A development project should flow easily and allow for real-time edits. You can easily create those flows with dynamic wireframe tools. Wireframing puts everyone on the same page, giving the development team and the client an idea of the layout of the software.
Wireframing should be a priority for every developer. Without it, you’re rushing into a project with no clear design ideas, and can often get caught up in design rather than functionality.
The wireframing process lets you focus on usability before adding graphics and colors, creating less need for edits later on. This should be the primary focus when designing your software, with an emphasis on the user experience.
When you’re designing, put yourself in the user’s place. Visualize how you’d want your software to navigate and perform and code it to meet those standards. Your clients will appreciate the added care and consideration.
3. Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
Complexity in a development project’s coding can only serve to cause issues during the project’s lifespan. Adding too much unnecessary code in the form of extra elements or graphics can not only make collaboration difficult but could weigh down the final design.
Software should be as light as possible while still serving its function well. Only add the code that is needed to ensure the software does just that.
When problems arise, finding the simplest solution is the best practice. Find ways to solve coding or functionality issues with simple, easy to implement solutions that the entirety of your development team can understand.
4. Test Your Code Often
This may seem like an obvious tip, but you’d be surprised how many software errors arise because the code wasn’t tested beforehand. When you complete a section of code for an element of the software, test it to see if there are any errors.
By testing your code during the development process instead of after your project is complete, you can perform real-time edits and avoid having to sift through hundreds of lines of code to fix any issues.
Until you execute lines of code, you won’t know if they even function, let alone perform the task you’ve written them to do. Before you ship anything to a customer, you should always thoroughly test your code and address any errors.
Your software’s functionality not only affects your reputation but can also affect your pay. A customer doesn’t want software that has too many errors or crashes.
5. Never Stop Learning New Things
This is arguably the most important rule for software developers to live by. In order to remain competitive, you should always be learning new languages and methods.
Coding can change with new software or design processes, so should keep yourself familiar with the trends in the industry. Make yourself known in the community, and find legitimate tech news sources to let you know when change is coming.
If your client requires you to code in a language you’re unfamiliar with, don’t be afraid to ask a colleague for assistance. There’s no shame in asking for help to prevent a sub-quality product from being delivered.
It’s important to interact with those inside your industry. Seasoned veterans may have advice or methods that can improve your own methods, making you more efficient and therefore profitable.
Technology is ever evolving to help developers do their job quicker and more efficiently. There are hundreds of tools and applications to assist you in managing time, projects, and more. Wireframe tools are available to help streamline and collaborate on projects.
The software development field is ever-changing. New methods of coding, new technology and tools are constantly being developed to improve the process. By following these five rules, you’ll be able to keep yourself relevant and competitive in your field, building a reputation for quality work and punctuality.
If you’re new to software development, remember to reach out and make use of the community. There are blogs and online communities that can offer advice, tools, and support to developers like you.