Have you somehow realize how’s your posture when you sitting in your computer chair. Do you lean too much on your computer screen when coding? How about your diet? What do you eat? If you haven’t been paying attention to it, you should. These are just the sample of small things that you should start paying attention to.

As a developer, we have the tendency to work for over an extended period of time. If my body can handle it, I’m sure I would have continued to work on that ERP project module by module and finished it as soon I can and by “as soon as I can”, I mean no going home to my wife and no going out on weekends. 

project board

I’d like to think that I’m passionate about the job. I love it so much that I just want to keep writing codes. When there’s no new project, either I think of something to program and develop and automate a process that most of the times cannot and should not be automated or be put on a computerized system or I go online and look for coding exercise.

That was me before until I realized that I haven’t been spending much time with my wife, family, and friends. I’ve been blessed to have a supportive wife. She’s pregnant and she’s trying her best not be needy. Not that I’m not available for her because I am and will be whenever she needs me to because goodness, she’s having our unica hija. Point is, if she isn’t like that, I’d be juggling most of my work.

Pregnant with Husband

Not doing these things might not show any immediate effect, but over time, I assure you, the effects are obvious and you can only wish then that you did the small things.

Develop A Habit

When it comes to programming, even the smallest thing needs to be thought of. What text to put as a caption on a button? Can it be just placeholder instead of adding a new label? Sounds easy, right? Wrong! Imagine doing those things for over a hundred of times. Not easy now, huh?

You have got to develop a habit that will form a pattern how you do things. Make it like a uniform like naming convention or prefixes of controls. For buttons, the prefix usually is “Btn” or “Txt” for textboxes. By developing a habit that forms that pattern in your head, it comes automatically.

apple-desk-office-working-8841

Admitting You Don’t Know Everything

Have you ever been asked a question where it was assumed that you know it but you don’t? Are you that guy whose everyone turns to when they’re stuck coding? Spell P-R-E-S-S-U-R-E. If you’re that guy, good for you but you probably have experience at least one once that a question was asked and you don’t know sh*t about it. You’ve heard about it, you read about it or you really have no idea what it is. Since you’re the guy that has all the answers, you can’t just simply say you don’t know.

That’s the pressure talking. If such things happen, just say you don’t know and offer to learn about it together. Nobody will judge you for not knowing something. They don’t know it as well. Offer to read about it and learn it. This way, it improves your relationship with your co-workers too. You could even say no even if you do know it just so you can spend more time with that co-worker you’ve been checking out since day one. *uh-huh*

Know Your Tools

You just got a new job. They are using a different IDE. They have a different methodology and practice. You look at your computer, sit in your chair, trying to type something so it won’t look like you have no clue. Your mind goes blank. You can’t think of anything to type. All the codes that you’ve written before are gone. Bam! You woke up. You were dreaming. A bad dream I must add.

keys-workshop-mechanic-tools

As a programmer, we must know the ins and outs of our tools. Out of all the IDE’s out there, there must be at least one you’re very good at. You’ve spent a crazy amount of time using that IDE and even if people claim there’s a better IDE than what you’re using, you stick with it because it never failed you before and you know exactly where to go and what to do when you need to do something out of it. That’s knowing your tools.

Start thinking of replacing your tools when it becomes harder and harder to do something with it and it stops updating and is not catching up with the latest release of new technologies.

Only Do Freelance Work When You Know Exactly What To Do

Most freelance jobs are paid in hours. Never accept a freelance job that you have no experience in the past doing the same or not entirely sure about the project.

In theory, programming is easy but practically, writing the codes, logical thinking and flow of the systems (not in order) makes it hard. Hard for those who have no experience but if you have done numerous projects, it comes naturally.

Man working on a computer

If you accept a freelance job and was wrong in the estimation of time and project delivery, you’re screwed. You start to think of a lot of things like it may have been better if I did it using this particular framework, I could still catch up if I start again from scratch a whole lot more.

Do freelance job only when you know what to do and what to use because you have experience and have done something similar so no biggie.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

This is where the logical part of the programming comes in. When you receive an issue or a requirement from your clients, you have to logically think ahead of where you will take the data from the existing forms of the project and where would it lead to and how it will be saved. Fixing a bug or an issue is more than just “fixing” it. You should simulate a situation where the fix would be applied from start to finish and identify the gaps to prevent revisiting your codes, the project having bugs, production site getting errors constantly and more.

Over time, this would lead to a stress-free rest day where you don’t worry when the shit is going to hit the fan because you know it’s just a matter of time before a bug comes. Write codes with the best quality. Not only it makes your client/boss happy, it makes you worry-free as well.

As a programmer, we see things run from a different perspective. What’s happening behind the scenes? We always look at how it’s running applying an if-then-else condition to everything. If the indicator is pressed down, signal left else if…so take note of the small things. Once you’ve developed a habit of that, it will separate you from being one of the good programmers to being the go-to-guy programmer.

I’m a fan of John Sonmez of SimpleProgrammer.com. He’s written a book that is a must-have for any software developers. I haven’t finished  reading the whole book yet but I just have to recommend and put it here. It’s worth every penny.

Check out more articles and blogs here.

How about you? What are the Small things you always take note when working on a project? Share it with us in the comment section below.

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