Beginning Programming Productivity Tips

Starting programming or simply refining your work flow can be a daunting task. Everyone has their set way of working and it’s the way that works best for them. This is a list of suggestions that can help coders of all levels and languages.

1. Start a code library and find a fast way to access it.

If you program and are not the strongest typist in the world. An option that will speed up your productive. Create a code library “sometimes referred to as snippets” of the code blocks you use the most.

I find this really speeds up production when you don’t have to repeatedly type the same code over and over again. When working in PHP having not to type.

$connection = mysql_connect(“localhost”,”root”,”password”);
@mysql_select_db(“database”, $connection);
$query = “INSERT INTO application (first_name, last_name, address, city, state, zipcode, email, birthday, home_phone, other_phone, home, time_at_address, payment, employment, employer, income, ssn, bankrupt, cosigner, confirmation, signup, timestamp) VALUES (‘$firstname’, ‘$lastname’, ‘$address’, ‘$city’, ‘$state’, ‘$zipcode’, ‘$email’, ‘$birthdate’, ‘$phone1’, ‘$phone2’, ‘$ownrent’, ‘$time_at_address’, ‘$payment’, ‘$employment’, ‘$employer’, ‘$income’, ‘$ssn’, ‘$bankrupt’, ‘$cosign’, ‘$confirmation’, ‘$optin’, ‘$timestamp’)”;

and just typing “php_connect_insert” is a real timesaver. Sure your going to have to take some of column names and values out or change them. But the structure and form I use and can easily navigate is instantly there.

Applications like Panic’s Coda, Micromate’s TextMate and Adobe Dreamweaver have this indispensable feature with a fast way to access it. You could also use a program like TextExpander by Smile on my Mac software that stores the snippets and makes them available system wide or to only the applications you designate.

2. Get good and know the language.

Ok this is blatantly obvious. The web is a fantastic resource to get you over a programming speed bump. But finding a good example of exactly what your trying to do takes time. There is no replacing being up on your programming chops to rocket though the code and get the project done. Developing yourself will always pay ten fold over what equipment you use.

3. Find someone that knows more about programming than you and find someone that knows less.

Having someone around you can bounce ideas and problems off of that has been in the game longer than you is one of the best ways to learn. Once learned teach that new info to the person who knows less than you. You’ll find that the process of teaching allows you to retain more of what you have learned than if you had not shared it.

4. Find a few easy to understand and easy to navigate sites for syntax reference.

I comb through php.net and mySQL.com sites on a regular basis. Those are the languages I use most and I was lucky that both these sites have tons of notes and forums. I love actionscript. But adobe’s site is the last place I go for help with it. It’s slow and the forums are not well trafficked. Flashkit.com and Actionscript.org are much more useful.

So that’s my list of programming tips. Comment below and add your own tip to the list.

4 thoughts on “Beginning Programming Productivity Tips

  1. christi g

    Great tips! It would be great if we novices had a place to go to find people to mentor and be mentored. Combing through forums these days is a nightmare.

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