My Top 10 Programmer Hacks (Part 1.)

Being a software developer, you have to know the little tricks and nuances to make your worklife and process more enjoyable and also make you more productive.
Here are 10 things that help me immensely and I’m sure they will help you!

1. Use the Pomodoro Technique

If you have not heard of it yet, the pomodoro technique is where you use a kitchen timer (Or a Pomodoro timer), and you set it for 25 minutes and then you begin working solely on 1 task for that 25 minutes until it is complete. During this 25 minutes, you may not do ANYTHING ELSE.. but work on this 1 specific task. Once the 25 minutes is up, you must take a 5 minute break. And then you repeat, another 25 minutes and another 5 minute break, until you reach the “4th” Pomodoro, which instead of taking a 5 minute break, you take a 15 minute break. Now this is probably one of the most effective hacks you can use to increase your productivity dramatically. I recommend you try it if you’re not doing it already.

2. Drink Coffee Or Tea

It’s a known fact that caffeine is a stimulant and will boost your levels of concentration and thus increase your focus and productivity. Now coffee has more caffeine content and you will definitely feel it more (If you’re not a regular coffee drinker, it will most likely give you the jitters until your body adapts to this level of caffeine intake.), where as Tea is much more mild but you will still reap its many benefits.

3. Read Hacker News For 15-25 Minutes Per Day

If you are working in the field of technology, you must understand there are new developments and tools, frameworks, languages, sites, apps, anything and everything being created everyday, all day, non-stop. At any time, whatever you are using could become irrelevant. It’s best to stay on-top of the latest news and the best place for that is Hacker news. http://news.ycombinator.com. Here you will find almost every hacker in the world.. frequenting this place (Including DHH, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and many other prominent/successful engineers). If you have not heard of Hacker News before, well here ya go. And you’re welcome. 🙂

4. Use Vim To Code

You will hear every greyberd hacker tout the advantages of using VI (the legendary text-editor), and there is a simple reason for that. It’s incredibly fast to use (Once you’ve learnt how to use it) and you can become extremely productive with it, with all the nifty little features that you can use to make your workflow a thousand times more efficient. Not to mention, the pride that comes from mastering this hard-to-use tool that will not only make you a better programmer.. but make you look like the wizard amongst your collegues when you’re using it.


5. Use The Command Line (Bash/Zsh/etc) For Mostly Everything

There’s nothing that screams I’m a wannabe more than someone who is a developer yet has no knowledge whatsoever with Linux or Unix-based Systems. If you’re coming from only a Windows background, then I definitely feel for you. But you will definitely need to get up to speed, by perhaps installing Ubuntu Desktop and tinkering with it and learning how it all works. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to start mastering the command line. Once you’ve internalized many of the commands for the terminal, you will see that everything you do will be slightly more command line focused since it is much much quicker and easier to do just anything and everything than it is to use the mouse and GUI. Now don’t get me wrong, the mouse and the GUI has its place on the desktop, but nothing replaces the terminal in terms of speed and productivity.

To be continued..

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