Robert Važan

Productivity tips for software developers

Remember the saying about the chain being only as strong as its weakest link? When it comes to software projects, you can make the right choices most of the time, but the one thing you do wrong will still cost you an order of magnitude loss of efficiency. And people usually err more than once...

It came to me as a surprise, but I usually end up on the high end of productivity benchmarks. This observation holds across many different metrics and several past jobs. Clearly I must be doing something right. I have a lifelong process of removing all obstacles that slow me down, but you will likely find it easier to just skim through this checklist of optimizations I have already discovered. I am listing only optimizations with an order-of-magnitude local effect as those are likely to improve overall productivity.






The list is far from exhaustive. There's an endless array of other things I might be doing wrong. I never know until the light bulb moment comes. There are tons of fast-cooking experts promoting their books and seminars who pretend to know what's killing you. At the very least, you are going to ask them for evidence, not plausible arguments, that proves their stuff works. But more importantly, you are going to check relevance to your case, because programmer productivity is a lot like software performance: there's bound to be some stupid performance bug that eats 99% of all resources.

Did you run yourself under profiler recently?